Humanitarian need skyrockets by 14 times its pre-coup levels
A recent United Nations (UN) report estimates that more than 14.4 million people, including 5 million children, are experiencing humanitarian need in Myanmar, up from 3 million people in July 2021, and 1 million people pre-coup.
Other alarming realities since the coup include poverty returning to its 2005 levels, more than 400,000 people becoming internally displaced, around a quarter of the population facing moderate or severe food insecurity, with women and children disproportionately impacted.
While safety and access continue to be daily considerations for everyone in Myanmar, the GraceWorks Myanmar (GWM) team has been fortunate to continue distributing emergency village care packs as funds become available.
Since our last care pack update at the end of 2021, our team has distributed approximately 150 new care packs – reaching more than 500 people – through our community development education (CDE) alumni in areas such as Rakhine State, Shan State and Yangon Division.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, and the dedication and resilience of our team in Myanmar, care packs have helped around 1,700 people since the initiative started in early October 2021.
The care packs provide basic emergency supplies for families and, for some, have been a lifeline in a situation where the road ahead is uncertain and expected to be long, with no simple resolution in sight.
GWM’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Simmons, is all too familiar with the levels of need being reported across the country.
“My first trip to Myanmar was in 2004 and I’ll never forget the scenes of poverty I saw then, nor the determination for people to do more than survive,” Peter said.
“In the years that followed, I saw families, villages and communities make their way out of poverty, rarely without working together, and that’s what motivated GWM to specialise in community development,” he said.
“Rebuilding will take time but we’re talking about the lives of millions of people – so rebuild they will, and I’m as determined as ever that we’ll be there, partnering with those communities as they carve out a new destiny.
“We are currently working on new ways we can contribute to locally led development in areas such as education, health and livelihoods, in addition to our well-known CDE and peacebuilding work.”
Given the substantial need across Myanmar, GWM’s Stand With Myanmar fundraiser is currently an open-ended fundraiser. All tax-deductible donations received through the GWM website will be directed to the ongoing distribution of emergency village care packs and other humanitarian support for the foreseeable future.
The GWM team acknowledges the world’s attention is understandably splintered across a wide range of critical issues. We are committed to continuing our advocacy for the people of Myanmar – for action and for practical support via Stand With Myanmar donations.
To donate, please visit https://www.graceworksmyanmar.org.au/donate.