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Media Contact: Emily Sollie, 410-230-2802, 443-220-3269 cell, esollie@lwr.org

Lutheran World Relief Responds to Displacement in Myanmar (Burma)

Baltimore, July 15, 2013 —In response to inter-communal conflict and resulting internal displacement in Myanmar (Burma), LWR has pledged $25,000 to support the work of Lutheran World Federation (LWF) through the ACT Alliance.

In June 2012, escalating clashes between Rakhine State’s Muslim Rohingya population and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists led to riots, arson, looting and violence, resulting in 80 deaths and large-scale displacement. Conflict resurged in October 2012, resulting in additional displacement. As of April 2013, more than 139,000 people had fled to government-designated camps, unofficial settlements and host communities, according to the ACT Alliance.

The humanitarian community has identified four areas of urgent need among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Rakhine State, including emergency education, community-based psychosocial support, fire safety and disaster response and coordination.

LWR has committed to support LWF’s work in Myanmar (Burma) in ensuring that:

  • affected children between five and 10 years of age are able to attend school in a safe and child-friendly environment;
  • psychosocial support helps affected populations retain their mental and social well-being and a sense of normalcy;
  • the threat of fire is reduced and affected populations are able to respond effectively to fires, as many IDPs are residing in shelters made from bamboo, thatch or plastic sheeting; and
  • ACT Alliance partners are prepared for and able to respond more effectively to disasters.

&lquo;LWR recognizes the urgent need for additional humanitarian assistance,&rquo; says Joanne Fairley, LWR’s regional director for Asia and the Middle East. &lquo;LWF has the capacity to respond to this crisis and extensive experience implementing similar activities globally. LWF is a trusted partner, and we know that they will be able to provide needed live-saving assistance.&rquo; Lutheran World Relief is currently accepting donations to respond to emergencies around the world. Donations can be made online at lwr.org, by phone at 800.597.5972 or by sending a check or money order to Lutheran World Relief, P.O. Box 17061, Baltimore, MD 21297-1061.

WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long term. With the financial support of US Lutherans and other donors, LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate, and emergency support. LWR works with partners, supporters and technical assistance providers to achieve lasting results. For more information, visit lwr.org.

Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.

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