Karen MP asks for EU aid

A Karen political party, Plao-Swaw Democratic Party (PSDP) urged the European Union to help civilians in Papun, Kyain Seikygi and southern Kawkariek Township, Karen state.

The request comes after Ms Kristalina Georgieva, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, officially visited Burma in early September and promised 22 euro million in aid for civilians living in crisis areas.

Pa-an based MP, Nan Say Awa, one of nine PSDP candidates who won selection in 2010 election said civilians in these areas are facing education, health and landmines problems.

“There are villages’ school in Papun and Kya-in Seikgyi Township, but no teachers. There’s no [health] clinic and no doctors. Most of the villagers who are injured from landmines die on the way to city hospitals.”

Nan Say Awa said that there should be fast aid and support to those facing crisis.

Karen activist, Zoya Phan, Campaigns Manager with the Burma Campaign UK, welcomes humanitarian aid from the EU but urged the EU to also help civilians along the Thai Burma border.

“A lot of people from Burma live in difficulties. If they [EU] really want to help, they should assist people from border who are in great need, not only the people inside.”

The EU in 2010, slashed aid to refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border – this has had immediate impacts on health care, food delivery and education for the 144,000 refugees from Burma currently living in the camps.

Ms Zoya Phan pointed out that many ethnic groups such as the Kachin, Karreni, Karen, Chin, Arakan, and Shan are either refugees or migrant workers along the Thai, China, India and Bangladesh borders and they face problems from conflict and exploitation.

Burma Campaign UK advocate for human rights, democracy and development in Burma. They are currently campaigning European countries to support the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur for Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana’s call for a Commission of Inquiry (COI) into Burma’s human rights abuses.

The EU commissioner Ms Georgieva met with lieutenant general Thein Htay, Ministry of Border Affairs and Ministry of Myanmar Industrial Development and other government officers on her visit to Burma. Ms Georgieva also met seperately with Burma’s democracy leader Daw Aung San Su Kyi.

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