Under Fire, Under Water: Sustaining Humanitarian Assistance to Conflict-Affected Communities in Myanmar’s Karen State
Amid flooding and conflict in southeastern Myanmar, we talk to humanitarian workers supported by Community Partners International (CPI), who ensure that essential services reach communities in urgent need.
Children are suffering as conflict engulfs Myanmar (Burma). Chae, 33, whose youngest child is acutely malnourished, tells of the struggle to keep her children healthy.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a significant challenge to public health in Myanmar (Burma). On World TB Day, we talk to TB patients and health workers in remote communities of the Naga Self-Administered Zone to discover how USAID’s HIV/TB Agency, Information and Services Activity, led by Community Partners International, is helping to ensure access to testing and treatment.
Myanmar’s Humanitarian Crisis: “Because of conflict, people can’t move freely, making it difficult to get food and medical supplies.”
In Kayin (Karen) State, southeast Myanmar (Burma), renewed conflict between the Myanmar military and ethnic nationality organizations has displaced thousands of people and created a humanitarian crisis against the backdrop of a rising wave of COVID-19. With support from the Livelihoods and Food Security Fund (LIFT), Community Partners International (CPI) is helping local partner the Karen Ethnic Health Organizations Consortium (KEHOC) to provide displaced and conflict-affected women, newborns and young children with essential nutrition support, safe water, and hygiene and sanitation.
World AIDS Day: “I visit patients’ houses secretly to look after them when they are too ill to go to hospital.”
Thiri, 37, found out that she was HIV positive during a routine checkup while pregnant in 2013. She was afraid and alone. “I was so scared that others would find out that I had HIV so I didn’t leave the house for a long time. I couldn’t tell my parents.”
Daw Thet Thet lives with her husband and two young daughters, a three-year-old and a baby of six months, in Hlaingtharya, a low-income suburb of Myanmar’s commercial capital, Yangon. A few months ago, Daw Thet Thet’s husband, a motorbike taxi driver, started coughing and having fever. Concerned about costs, they delayed seeking health care until the situation became serious.
Renewed tensions and conflict in Kachin State, Myanmar, have created a humanitarian emergency with nearly 100,000 people forcibly displaced into more than 130 displacement sites across the state. It is crucial that these displaced communities have access to basic health care and nutrition services to help them survive during these precarious times.
As part of efforts to combat deforestation and improve health in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Community Partners International (CPI) is working with Bangladeshi organization the Village Education Resource Center (VERC) to introduce improved cookstoves into refugee households. On December 11, 2018, the VERC-CPI Energy team organized the first public cooking competition in Camp 8E in which five contestants took up the challenge to cook the best chicken curry with rice on three different cookstove models. The competition was held to showcase the advantages of improved cookstoves and promote uptake in the Rohingya refugee community.
For the more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar sheltering in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the simple act of cooking a meal lies at the heart of a complex web of health, safety, nutrition and environmental concerns. Community Partners International (CPI) is launching a project to bring improved cookstoves into refugee households in Cox’s Bazar to help reduce firewood consumption that drives environmental degradation and deforestation, and support efforts to decrease levels of indoor air pollution that can negatively impact people’s health.
With support from a private donor, Community Partners International (CPI) is working to support 568 households (over 2,200 people) in five villages in Mawlamyinegyun township, Ayeryawady Region, to address the challenges they face and improve their living conditions. The Better Homes Better Lives (BHBL) Project is a partnership between CPI and local partner Baythitsadarna, a community-based organization linked to a monastery in Mawlamyinegyun.