News about Myanmar has dominated global media reports over the past three months. The protracted instability in the country, set within the context of COVID-19 of which little has been reported by comparison, has fractured social progress and exacerbated vulnerabilities within communities, especially among children. World Vision is deeply concerned about the effects of local unrest and the global pandemic on Myanmar’s children, whose well-being and future is in jeopardy.
From World Vision’s Aftershocks report, the rise in cases of early marriage, as well as sexual and physical violence against children, is alarming and often goes unreported. After suffering a year of lock-down, isolation and time away from school, Myanmar’s children now face the bleak prospect of arrested development on all fronts – physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. To date, more than 50 children have been caught in crossfires and killed. Millions more live under a cloud of uncertainty. World Vision is calling for united action against the long-term effects of COVID-19, and for an immediate end to fear and suffering caused by human actions.
At a time of the year when children usually prepare for and look forward to attending school, this excitement is overshadowed by their fears about personal safety, lost livelihoods, loved ones who are ill or in danger, and lost opportunities. World Vision is present in the communities we serve, and will continue to stand with children and their families to ensure they receive support. This includes providing counselling, food and financial aid within our limited operating context. We pray and urgently call for a peaceful resolution that respects international humanitarian law, so that the children and families in Myanmar can hope for the future and live life to their fullest potential.
World Vision’s commitment to the children and people in Myanmar remains steadfast. We have been operating in Myanmar for almost 30 years, with programming in 12 out of 14 regions. Our work impacts the lives of 1.6 million people, including 475,660 children across the country. We facilitate long-term sustainable development plans that are focused on building livelihoods, improving food security and access to health care and education.