HomeChurch & AsiaParliamentarians from around the world hit lack of humanitarian assistance in Myanmar

Parliamentarians from around the world hit lack of humanitarian assistance in Myanmar

“Time is rapidly running out to prevent the worst-case scenario for millions of people in Myanmar," said Heidi Hautala

Parliamentarians from around the world denounced the alleged lack of humanitarian assistance for the people of Myanmar amid the crisis triggered by the February 2021 coup d’état.

The parliamentarians from seven different countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe made the pronouncement ahead of the fourth public oral hearing of their International Parliamentary Inquiry (IPI) on the global response to the crisis in Myanmar on Wednesday, July 20.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) earlier placed at over 750,000 the number of people displaced by the violence perpetrated by the military in the country.

Experts audited by the IPI in previous oral hearings have described a rapidly deteriorating situation, marked by a worsening economic crisis, an almost complete collapse of the health system and the systematic targeting of the civilian population by the military.

“Time is rapidly running out to prevent the worst-case scenario for millions of people in Myanmar,” said Heidi Hautala, IPI committee chair and vice president of the European Parliament.

“But instead of increased attention to the situation, we are seeing the opposite: less engagement by regional and international actors, less efforts to lead the junta to the negotiation table, and a unconscionable shortfall of almost 90 percent of funding for the humanitarian needs of the country in 2022,” she said.

“Inaction must end now,” added Hautala.

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OCHA data show that as of June 2022, only 11 percent of the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan for Myanmar has been funded, “negatively affecting the breadth and quality of assistance delivered by humanitarians.”

“The utter failure of ASEAN’s 5-Point Consensus should be clear to all, yet there has been no effort made to change course,” said Charles Santiago, IPI committee member and chairman of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights.

He said that while the international community continues to ignore evidence indicating that “a primary reliance on ASEAN has not and will not result in an alleviation of the plight of the Myanmar people.”

Santiago said “reliance on ASEAN is not a strategy, but rather a disingenuous deflection of responsibility by international actors which must stop in order for solutions to the humanitarian crisis to be found.”

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