Action Against Hunger UK, ActionAid UK, Christian Aid, Save the Children UK and the International Rescue Committee UK have issued a joint statement calling for an end to violence in Myanmar and immediate access for humanitarian aid.
“Action Against Hunger UK, ActionAid UK, Christian Aid, Save the Children UK and the International Rescue Committee UK strongly condemn the attacks carried out on 25 August.
“We are deeply concerned by the spiraling violence that has followed across Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State. We are also concerned about reports of extensive loss of life of civilians and the immense suffering that is producing the displacement of thousands of people from their homes and livelihoods.
“The Myanmar government has a responsibility and obligation to protect all of the civilian population without distinction. Violence is not a long-term solution to the challenges faced by all populations in Rakhine State.
“As humanitarian actors, we remind all parties of their responsibility to exercise restraint, avoid the targeting of civilians and prevent the further escalation of conflict in the area. It is also crucial that Myanmar national and local authorities facilitate access for UN agencies and international, national and local NGOs able to provide aid and immediate relief to the civilian population affected by the ongoing military and police operations.
“We are particularly concerned about reports of the impact that the conflict and displacement is having on women and girls. The Bangladesh government and local authorities should continue to ensure the safe passage of people fleeing the violence and providing aid to refugees upon arrival.
“As UK based INGOs we call on the British government to press for an end to violence and to use its international influence to encourage the Government of Myanmar to fulfill its obligations regarding ensuring humanitarian access and the protection of all civilians.
“Further we call on the UK and other donors to urgently make funds available to respond to the needs of those who have been displaced, in particular the estimated four hundred thousand people who have crossed into Bangladesh.”