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Burma: Internally Displaced Persons

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to mitigate the challenges arising from the volume of internally displaced people in Karenni state and other parts of eastern Burma; and which of these have been taken in co-operation with the Government of Thailand. (200347)

I visited Thailand from 28 February to 1 March and met several non-governmental organisations working in the refugee camps on the Burma/Thailand border. I also raised the plight of ethnic groups in the border region with the Thai Minister of Interior.

The UK provides support to people in Karenni state through several mechanisms:

funding for the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Initiative;

our significant contribution to the Three Diseases Fund, which supports work on HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in Karenni state;

support provided through local faith based organisations who are able to reach internally displaced people from inside the country; and

support from Thailand through the Thailand-Burma Border Consortium, which is providing assistance to the refugee camp bordering Karenni state, Ban Mae Noi Sae.

UK funding for projects in Karenni state is part of our effort to provide humanitarian assistance to people suffering poverty and deprivation across Burma. The Department for International Development’s programme in Burma is increasing from £9 million in 2007-08 to £18 million in 2010-11.