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Thailand and Burma

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the government of Thailand on the welfare and living conditions of people who have left eastern Burma owing to the renewed military operation in that region; and if he will make a statement. (282837)

Staff based in the British embassy in Bangkok have been in contact with the Thai Ministry of the Interior, and with non-governmental organisations working on the Thailand-Burma border, about the welfare and living conditions of recently arrived refugees from eastern Burma.

Humanitarian assistance for the refugees is being provided by the Thai authorities, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and non-governmental organisations. This assistance includes food, plastic sheeting for shelter, blankets, bed-nets and medical care. Planning is under way to prepare a new site in Thailand to accommodate the refugees.

The Department for International Development plans to provide about £7.4 million over the next three years to support Burmese refugees in Thailand and internally displaced people inside Burma.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his most recent assessment is of the humanitarian situation on the Thai-Burmese border. (282501)

Latest estimates from the Government of Thailand, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) suggest that about 3,200 refugees have recently entered Thailand to escape fighting in eastern Burma.

Immediate humanitarian assistance for the refugees is being provided by the Thai authorities, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and non- governmental organisations. This assistance includes food, plastic sheeting for shelter, blankets, bed-nets and medical care. Planning is underway to prepare a new site in Thailand to accommodate the refugees.

The Department for International Development plans to provide about £7.4 million over the next three years to support Burmese refugees in Thailand and internally displaced people inside Burma.