June 21, 2021
By Christine Hills
In March, the Myanmar military launched air raids near its eastern border, including an Internally Displaced Persons camp. The violence forced people from Myanmar’s Karen State to head to neighbouring Thailand. The Karen people have endured severe conflict for more than seven decades, largely over ethnically based hostilities.
Up to 10,000 people fled their villages, sent into hiding in the jungle and forests near the border. An estimated 3,000 people crossed the Salaween River into Thailand not far from Mae Sariang, where the office of long-time PWRDF partner DARE Network is located.
PWRDF issued an emergency solidarity grant of $5,000 for Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) and DARE implemented the project to come to the aid of those who had fled and left everything behind. They are coordinating with other community-based organizations such as the Karen Teachers Working Group, Karen Womens’ Organization and the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network to ensure that any gaps are filled and to reach as many people as possible. Relief locations were on the Thai side as well as a safe location on the Karen side for those forced to remain.
The emergency funds immediately benefited 75 families with 364 members, providing supplies for one month. Families received:
- One sack of rice
- One litre of cooking oil
- One month supply of yellow beans, fish paste, salt, noodles and chilies
“Thank you to all helper and donors for all of your kindness and lending your hand when they face with the difficulty and less of foods with hungry times,” said Saw Meh Law, a grandfather from Ta Kaw Hta village in Karen state who has had to move three times to find safety. He sent this message through Law La Say, PWRDF’s contact at DARE. “Without your assistance they will really face the hard times.”