HURFOM, Mawlamyine: A new briefing paper by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM), “Running Out of Air: How the Junta in Burma is Abandoning Civilians in the COVID-19 Pandemic,” finds that the Burma Army is ill-equipped to handle the response to COVID-19. Since the military seized power in a coup on 1 February, the lives of civilians have been under constant attack. Hundreds have been killed by state-sponsored forces and thousands remain imprisoned for their role in pro-democracy activities, include health care providers. With multiple crises unfolding nationwide, the junta’s poor handling of the pandemic threatens to only worsen the already dire situation in the country. (Download in Eng)
In HURFOM target areas of Mon State, Karen State and Tanintharyi region, hospitals and various health infrastructure are running out of supplies. This has crippled civilian livelihoods who are struggling to access oxygen, masks and medicine from pharmacies. With prices of material goods increasing, and the junta blocking all pathways to access life-saving support, civilians are being pushed to the brink of survival. Our findings indicate that the military is deliberating excluding the most vulnerable from access to healthcare, in order to preserve their own interests.
HURFOM is greatly concerned for the people of Burma. A lack of effective coordination to secure life-saving access to personal protective equipment and medical supplies has resulted in human lives paying the cost for the junta’s negligence. Without an immediate recourse in the response plan, the situation on the ground is only likely to worsen. Health providers must be protected and civilians guaranteed pathways to accessible, affordable care. Millions are at risk, and they are running out of options. HURFOM calls for immediate, urgently needed intervention by the international community and for regional actors including the Association of South East Asian Nations. The people of Burma cannot afford to wait any longer.
For more information:
Nai Aue Mon, HURFOM Program Director
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Signal: +66 86 167 9741