Date: May 28, 2014
Published by May 28, 2014on
Burma/Thailand (MNN) — With all eyes on Thailand and its coup, neighboring Burma’s Rohingya crisis barely gets a passing glance. The world’s longest-reigning monarch, 86-year-old Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, gave coup leaders his seal of approval earlier this week.
This endorsement effectively gives the military junta authority to write a new code of law for Thailand. Military officials removed democratic barriers by dismantling the House of Parliament and Senate, and suspending the country’s current constitution.
Across the border, Burma’s growing humanitarian crisis is being overshadowed.
“People are dying every day…and the world is unaware and silent,” notes a Partners Relief and Development Relief Team Leader.
According to this worker, some 150,000 ethnic Rohingya are struggling to survive in refugee camps. Initiated by a conflict with the Rakhine people group, western Burma’s Rohingya crisis has been steadily growing since 2012.
“When we started working [there], the people were in just makeshift shelters of grass and bamboo; and we were involved in providing tarps and doing a lot of medical work,” the Partners’ leader shares. “Over time, other groups have come in, and with outside aid, permanent shelters have been built for most of the population.
“So, the appearance is that things have improved. But when you’re there on a regular basis, you start to realize that the people are starving; there is a lot of malnutrition, TB. Common injuries become very serious because there is very little or poor medical care.”
Burma’s government won’t recognize the Rohingya as citizens, which means they don’t get any food or medical aid. Less than half of the refugees can get food from international agencies, which makes Partners’ work even more vital.
“We feel that we have been given the privilege and the opportunity to work there among them, and provide an ounce of hope in a sea of pain.”
Partners shares God’s love with Burma’s vulnerable people groups through holistic care. You can bring physical and spiritual help to the Rohingya here.
Pray that workers can move supplies to the Rohingya camps safely. “I don’t want this to sound trite, but we need prayer,” the worker says.
Pray that the consistent help Partners provides stands as living proof of the Gospel. Pray that more governments would speak up on behalf of the Rohingya.