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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 16 November 2012

Humanitarian aid for victims of inter-communal violence in Burma/Myanmar

The European Commission is increasing by one million euros its funding for victims of recent inter-communal violence in Rakhine state in Burma/Myanmar. Thousands of people have been left homeless by the fresh outbreak.

The extra €1 million will be used to provide food to the victims and will be implemented by the World Food Programme, which is already active in the area.

Today’s announcement brings the total Commission's humanitarian funding in 2012 for helping the people of Rakhine State to €8 million. More than 110,000 people have been forced to flee their homes since June, mostly Rohingya Muslims.

"I am extremely concerned about the violence in Rakhine State," said Kristalina Georgieva, EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner. "In a situation where so many people have lost their homes and their possessions this additional funding will help provide life-saving assistance to all of those affected provided that our partners on the ground are given access to all areas in Rakhine state."

In June the European Commission sent humanitarian experts to Rakhine State to assess the situation. They confirm that food, shelter, drinking water, basic sanitation, hygiene and other basic items are all urgently needed.

The EU’s serious concern about the situation in Rakhine state was also raised by the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, during his recent visit to the country.


In June and October 2012, Rakhine State experienced bouts of wide-spread inter-communal violence between predominantly Muslim and Buddhist communities. Last month violence flared again and 37,000 people, mostly Rohingyas, were displaced and some 5,000 houses and other buildings destroyed.

Many of the displaced people are forced to shelter in camps in cramped conditions with poor sanitary facilities. They are dependent on outside assistance to cover their basic needs such as food and basic medical assistance.

For more information

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

The European Commission's humanitarian aid:

Contacts :

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

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