Burma: Armed Conflict

International Development written question – answered on 25th June 2009.

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Photo of Keith Simpson Keith Simpson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment has been made of the number of people who have moved from Burma to Thailand as a result of the renewed military action in the eastern part of that country; and whether such people have access to humanitarian assistance.

Photo of Michael Foster Michael Foster Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for International Development

Latest estimates from the government of Thailand, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) suggest that about 3,000 people have recently entered Thailand to escape fighting in eastern Burma.

Humanitarian assistance for the refugees is being provided by the Thai authorities, UNHCR, the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) and other NGOs. This assistance includes food, plastic sheeting for shelter, blankets, bed-nets and medical care. The Thai authorities are co-ordinating with UNHCR, TBBC and other NGOs on a medium-term plan for caring for the new refugees.

DFID plans to provide about £7.4 million over the next three years to support Burmese refugees in Thailand and internally displaced people inside Burma. This funding includes £1.1 million for TBBC this financial year.

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