News / Asia

Japanese Foundation to Send Aid to Burma

Burmese refugees from Bhamo city at a rescue camp in the Chinese southwestern border city of Ruili, Yunnan province, February 9, 2012.
Burmese refugees from Bhamo city at a rescue camp in the Chinese southwestern border city of Ruili, Yunnan province, February 9, 2012.
VOA News
A Japanese philanthropic organization says it is sending $3 million in aid to ethnic groups in Burma, some of which are still engaged in armed conflict with the Burmese government.

The Nippon Foundation made the announcement Thursday in Tokyo after meeting with representatives from the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), a coalition of Burmese ethnic groups who are seeking peace talks with the government.  Foundation officials say the first shipments of food and medicine will be sent in the coming months.

Khun Myint Htun with the Pa-O Nationalities Liberation Group was at the meeting as part of the UNFC and says the deal will make an immediate impact.

"The aid provided is primarily urgent humanitarian aid to be given as soon as possible," said Pa-Oh Nationalities Liberation Group spokesman Khun Myint Htun.  "The first phase of the Nippon Foundation Aid is $3 million."

The Burmese government does not recognize the UNFC but the Nippon Foundation says the aid deal has the support of Burma's leadership.  

Officials in Tokyo say the Burmese government sees the aid as a way of speeding up the peace process as it negotiates with the individual groups.

The UNFC includes the Karen National Union and the Kachin Independence Organization.

Fighting between the Burmese army and Kachin rebels broke out last year near some China-backed hydropower and oil-pipeline projects.  

The exile Kachin News Group reports fighting has intensified since August near Hpakant, where the world's best quality jadeite is mined.

But the UNFC representatives, including Khun Myint Htun, say the aid will not help fund further fighting.

"The aid given by Nippon Foundation to the ethnic minorities is not in the form of cash donation but in the form of rice and medicine which are urgently in need," added Khun Myint Htun.  "In providing rice and medicine, the process will be administered by the Foundation itself.  The priority is to deliver the aid to those in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.  For example, among the members of our UNFC (The United Nationalities Federal Council), the KIO (Kachin Independence Organization) is the worst conflict hit area.  The people in that area will get the aid first. Then the IDPs (internally displaced people) from our UNFC ethnic minorities will also get aid in the form of quota system.   Aid will be given to the Kachin area as priority."

Some Burma activists have criticized other, similar efforts saying so-called "peace funds" undermine peace by prioritizing development instead of lasting political solutions.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid