Brewing the Myanmar refugee crisis as the turmoil hits the economy

Bangkok (AP) — Aid workers and activists say Myanmar’s political turmoil risks causing a refugee crisis in the region as the number of people losing their livelihoods increases due to the conflict after the February coup. I’m warning you.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said the violence had displaced nearly 250,000 people. As Myanmar’s neighbor prepares for the summit this week to discuss the coup, he and other advocates warn that the situation could get out of control.

“The world must act immediately to deal with this humanitarian catastrophe,” Andrews said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

Massive civil disobedience and efforts by security forces to crush it have left many unemployed. The disruption of Internet services by authorities has also destroyed the means that many poor countries rely on to earn a living.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convened a meeting on Saturday about the crisis that killed more than 700 civilians, according to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which is tracking casualties since the military takeover.

ASEAN’s stance that Myanmar’s neighbors do not interfere with each other’s internal affairs, and the relatively undemocratic nature of many member governments, against the administration that seized power from Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected civilian government. Be wary of imposing sanctions. Key. She was imprisoned with more than 3,000 others.

Increasing numbers of people fleeing Myanmar military bombing and other violence are “what they (ASEAN) want to keep in control. Refugees spilling across borders are a regional issue, not an internal one.” Border consortium, A major provider of food, shelter and other assistance to refugees from Myanmar for over 30 years.

“Myanmar is a trading bloc, so it is the ASEAN countries that can put pressure on it,” Thompson said in a briefing at Thailand’s Foreign Correspondents Club.

She estimated that about 7,000 people camp along the Salween River on the Thai border and more than 1,000 are hiding in Thai forests. It is the only region along the border extending from India to China to the west and Thailand to the north and east.

So far, most of the displaced are still in Myanmar, adding to those who have already fled due to long-term ethnic rebellion. However, the fight disrupted access to their food and other necessities.

“People are still finding comfort areas in Myanmar, but when the conflict spreads to nation-states along the border, there is a flow of refugees,” said the Bangkok-based High Commissioner’s Office. Said James Rodehaver, head of the Myanmar team at Bangkok. The Civil Rights Commissioner said at a recent seminar.

A large civil disobedience movement has closed many Myanmar companies, from banks to hospitals to garment factories. As a result, people fled the city to their home villages, burdening families who were relying on help.

The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated the problem and increased the risk of its outbreak, forcing some migrant workers to return to Myanmar from Thailand and other countries.

“Myanmar’s economy is collapsing. Salaries are no longer paid.” Thompson said, “People’s lives are being lost because they are hiding for their own safety.” The whole is heading for a humanitarian crisis. “

So far, most of the sanctions taken to reverse the coup to Myanmar’s military leaders and restore the elected government have been adopted by the Western government.

This includes a ban on doing business with major military companies that dominate many industries, such as trading lucrative jewelry and jade.

Only a few weeks after the coup, it is unclear if such a move had a significant impact. It will take some time for the flow of income to gradually decline, and so far, companies paying for oil and gas, the country’s largest exports, will continue to light up energy-deficient countries and protect their own countries. He says he is responsible. employee. But it’s clear that the economy is heading for more serious problems, economists say.

Fitch Solutions has downgraded its 2% growth estimate for the year ending in September to a -20% reduction.

ASEAN accounts for about one-third of Myanmar’s total foreign trade, with China accounting for a larger share. And much of the foreign investment in the country comes from within the region.