Department for International Development written question – answered on 9th December 2014.

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Photo of Valerie Vaz Valerie Vaz Labour, Walsall South

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what funding her Department has provided to support women's organisations in Burma who document the sexual violence by the Burmese Army and assist survivors.

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne The Minister of State, Department for International Development

Tackling violence against women is a high priority for the UK in Burma. In Kachin state, DFID is providing humanitarian assistance for over 40,000 internally displaced people, of whom 21,000 are female. This assistance includes shelter, food and in certain areas specific support for victims of conflict, including for women affected by sexual violence. In the Burmese refugee camps in Thailand we are providing support to victims of gender-based violence including outward referrals to specialist centres.

We have agreed to provide funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for two specialists to further strengthen the response to gender-based violence in the conflict-affected areas of Rakhine and Kachin states. We continue to emphasise to the Burmese Government the need to protect all citizens and respect human rights, particularly for women, and the UK has agreed two new projects to tackle this problem in Burma, under the Foreign Secretary's Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.

In November DFID officials from the DFID Burma office met with the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) to discuss the UK’s work and listen to concerns raised by the WLB.

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