By Harkiran Senghal / GICJ

More than three million people in Myanmar are currently in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance. The UN Security Council expressed serous concern over the situation in Myanmar and urge military authorities to exercise restraint in a statement released on November 8, 2021. Since the military take-over in February 2021, conflict and insecurity are growing, under the worrying conditions of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and a failing economy.

Since the armed forces took over, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes due to violence in the country, and many remain internally displaced. Myanmar has been paralyzed by protests and violence since the coup, with the junta struggling to govern and facing armed resistance from militias and ethnic minority rebels allied with a shadow government that it calls "terrorists”. Access of many people to humanitarian aid they desperately need remains extremely limited due to bureaucratic obstacles put in place by the armed forces. The political crisis that followed the coup has led to a severe economic downturn and a subsequent uptick in food insecurity. About three million people currently require humanitarian assistance, a number likely to increase.

Geneva International Centre for Justice expresses deep concern over increased violence and non-availability of aid across Myanmar. Existing aid is struggling to reach the areas where it is most needed due to access restrictions and the deteriorating security situation, raising questions over how aid can more effectively be transported to target areas. The barriers NGOs face is a second blow to humanitarian aid in addition to the reduction in funding for both state- and NGO-administered programmes following the coup.  The human security risk not only threatens the people of Myanmar but also regional and thus global security and peace. GICJ calls for the international community to put forward stronger coordinated action in order to put an end to the existing situation in Myanmar. The political crisis has created new need for aid, as increased levels of violence and reduced functioning of the economy and public services leave populations in greater need of support. Finally, GICJ believes that to have a longer-lasting impact on Myanmar’s stability and humanitarian outcomes going forward, alleviation of the deeper-rooted human rights violations that underline the country’s current crisis should be prioritized through engagement with actors and bring perpetrators to justice.

Justice, Human rights, Geneva, geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International Centre For Justice

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