Emergency village care packs deliver safe crisis support
GraceWorks Myanmar (GWM) has launched a life-saving humanitarian initiative to provide basic emergency supplies to families in need in Myanmar via emergency village care packs.
With food prices in the country having risen by more than 50%, and the currency facing a rapid decline, currently worth less than half what it was at the start of 2021, the care pack initiative responds to desperate needs through GWM’s major fundraising appeal, Stand With Myanmar.
Care packs support basic nutrition and health needs and include rice, cooking oil, potatoes, onion, garlic, chickpea, instant noodles, mackerel, face masks and hand sanitiser, and may include items such as sugar, vitamins and fish paste when available.
Recognising the volatility of the Myanmar market, one care pack currently costs approximately AUD$100 and provides emergency support for one family of approximately 5 to 10 people.
GWM’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Simmons, says the care pack initiative provides vital tangible help, while also offering a humanitarian solution that will best keep the GWM team in Myanmar safe.
“The situation is increasingly dire and needs increasingly fundamental, with people losing their lives over something as small as half a bag of rice, and that’s why simple nutrition and health supplies are the right starting point for support,” Peter said.
“Our heart is for sustainable community development, but you need a community in the first place, so we are compelled to respond in the most practical and life-sustaining ways possible,” he said.
“There is no place in Myanmar that is not in desperate need and everyday there is a new crisis, which means donations will be giving immediate support to people facing extreme vulnerability.”
The Stand With Myanmar fundraiser is targeting $50,000, extended to 30 November 2021. If met, it equates to approximately 500 families, or around 3,500 people, receiving critical support at current prices.
Distribution is starting with families in villages that have the greatest needs in key areas such as Rakhine State – also prioritising areas where our team can safely distribute packs.
“Even livestock are being forcibly taken from villagers and farmers, with reports that all but one animal is being confiscated – the systemic demise of safety, security, trust and livelihoods,” he said.
“Stand With Myanmar is designed to deliver practical support and, however humble a village care pack may seem, it gives people a confident pathway to make a difference.
“Supporters can select any donation amount and their collective support will be used to purchase supplies for as many care packs as possible.”
GWM has been a consistent and active presence in Myanmar since 2004 and, through our team in Myanmar, we know what’s happening first-hand and in real-time. We have also delivered humanitarian aid and community development work amid challenging conditions in the country before.
Funds raised through Stand With Myanmar will purchase supplies for the emergency village care packs and contribute to other humanitarian support where possible. It complements GWM’s community development work that is…remarkably…still continuing where possible, despite the incredible hurdles of the coup and COVID-19.
When combined with grant funding, on average, 85% of all funds go directly into the field and, importantly, 15% to the considerable behind-the-scenes work required to deliver effective, safe support.
Donations to Stand With Myanmar are fully flexible to the amount and frequency that best suits supporters. Donations over $2 are tax deductible. To donate, please visit our website at https://www.graceworksmyanmar.org.au/donate.