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.