In response to the ongoing rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar, the European Commission has mobilised €2 million in emergency assistance to actions helping to fight the pandemic in the country.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “The EU stands in solidarity with the people of Myanmar in this difficult time. With this funding, given the challenges of a fragile health system in the country, the EU will be helping in providing treatment to COVID-19 cases. The people of Myanmar continue to suffer from the rampant violence since the takeover by the military junta and it is of great concern that the medical sector is increasingly being targeted. The EU strongly condemns these attacks and calls for the protection of medical workers in respect of International Humanitarian Law. Medical workers are putting their life on the line to save people – they should be able to carry out their work in safety and the humanitarian access to medical facilities should be guaranteed.”
The funding, allocated to trusted and independent humanitarian organisations, will help to support:
- the procurement and use of medicines for COVID-19 treatment, oxygen and related equipment, personal protective equipment and provide technical medical support
- emergency healthcare, first aid and water, sanitation and hygiene related activities in response to the latest COVID-19 wave
- home-based clinical management and stabilisation through tele-medicine and care corners.
The EU continues to support vulnerable people in Myanmar. In addition to the funding announced today, in 2021, the European Union allocated €20.5 million in humanitarian aid to address the immediate needs of displaced and conflict-affected communities in Myanmar.
Myanmar is currently reporting its largest number of coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic. The majority of public hospitals and testing centres in the country are not functioning at full capacity, leaving the country with limited capacity to detect and respond to a new wave of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 situation is exacerbating a dire humanitarian situation that has arisen since the military coup d’état of February 2021, which has resulted in the killing of 931 people by the junta, and the displacement of 206,400 people.
The European Commission has been active in Myanmar since 1994. It has funded emergency relief programmes to assist victims of both conflict and natural hazards, with total funding of over €287 million.
Since 2013, we have provided €8.65 million for emergency education to conflict-affected children, including €2 million in 2021.
All EU humanitarian funding is provided in line with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, and is channeled directly through NGOs, UN Agencies, and the Red Cross.