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

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs