For Written Answer on : 11/05/2021
Question Number(s): 385 Question Reference(s): 24127/21
Department: Foreign Affairs
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the level of assistance being provided by Ireland to help address the political instability and resulting humanitarian situation in Myanmar; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
I have strongly condemned the coup carried out by the Myanmar military, the arbitrary detention of political leaders, and the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters. The coup is a reversal of progress made towards democracy and rule of law in Myanmar that have taken years to establish. It does nothing to tackle the public health, security or economic issues faced by the people of Myanmar, and threatens to undermine efforts at restoring stability in a country affected by long-term internal conflict.
I am deeply concerned regarding the humanitarian and human rights impact of the coup. As the political crisis has grown, so too has the human cost. Tens of thousands of people have been newly displaced from renewed fighting. Meanwhile, the operating environment is becoming more restrictive for NGOs.
Ireland has development and humanitarian programmes in Myanmar and with Rohingya refuges in Bangladesh. Ireland is committed to continuing to provide assistance for the most vulnerable communities including internally displaced persons, Rohingya refugees, and people facing pre-existing challenges.
Ireland, through our Humanitarian Programme Partners (HPP) will spend more than €1.1 million responding to crisis in Myanmar in 2021. Our Emergency Response Fund Scheme (ERFS) funding was also activated in response to the fires in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in March 2021, with funding of €100,000 being approved
My Department continues to liaise with partners on the ground to stay abreast of the developing humanitarian situation and ensure our funding is being directed appropriately. I have also called for unhindered access for humanitarian workers to all regions.
I emphasise the importance of a united response to this crisis, in particular, we need to recognise the importance of engaging partners in the region to ensure an effective, appropriate, and sustainable outcome. Through the UN and our Embassy network, we are encouraging those who have influence on the military leadership, including countries within the region, to use it to find a political resolution to this crisis and protect the human rights of the Myanmar people.
Ireland, along with our EU colleagues, has been a steadfast supporter of Myanmar’s civilian and democratic transition, its peace process and national reconciliation, and its inclusive socio-economic development. We will maintain these roles during this challenging period.