Support for Rakhine State, Myanmar
11 September, 2012
Senator Carr speaking in Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw on June 7, 2012, after his meeting with President Thein Sein. During the meeting Senator Carr stressed the importance of the peaceful settlement of ethnic-based disputes, including those involving the Rohingya people. Photo: Christopher Davy
Foreign Minister Bob Carr says Australia will provide humanitarian aid for 14,000 people left homeless by sectarian conflict in Rakhine State, Myanmar.
United Nations reports indicate the violence forced 80,000 people to leave their homes in June, with 87 people killed and around 5,300 buildings damaged or destroyed.
Australia is providing $1 million in relief including emergency food, blankets, clothes, mosquito nets, cooking equipment and personal items, such as soap, for 14,000 people in temporary shelters.
‘It's what Australians do—help families in need after wars, conflicts and natural disaster,’ Senator Carr said.
‘Australia has taken a lead in calling on all sides to peacefully resolve Myanmar's ethnic disputes.’
Australia will work with the international community and local organisations to give shelter for families whose homes were destroyed and provide seeds and fertiliser so communities can resume farming to ensure the recent violence does not undermine longer-term food security in the area.
Australia’s humanitarian assistance is being delivered through CARE Australia and the World Food Programme in coordination with the United Nations and other humanitarian partners in the area.
This funding complements Australia’s longer-term works to improve access to land, support access to finance for farmers, and improve agricultural practices in Rakhine State.
From 2005 to 2011, AusAID supported a household livelihood project in Rakhine State, implemented by CARE, that assisted 3,200 households establish and manage community forestry plots, helped more than 6,700 women to form savings groups and trained communities on better health practices.
Micro-loans help farmers establish and maintain community forestry plots, which have empowered farmers to improve the productivity of crops—through supporting summer paddy production for example—and have had a positive impact on the environment.
Women’s savings groups helped members start small businesses and generate other livelihood activities, as well as raised the status of women in their households and communities.
AusAID is working with CARE to identify opportunities for ongoing, long-term support to Rakhine that will help victims of the violence to rebuild their lives, strengthen community resilience to ethnic conflict and restore peace.
Last Reviewed: 11 September, 2012