Situation after the military coup in Myanmar in Februar 2021
Dear Members of the St. Lazarus-Fonds,
Following the military coup in Myanmar in February 2021 a dramatic situation has developed in the diocese of a catholic priest who we have known for a long time.
This primarily catholic region is in southern Shan and Kayah State, about 100km from Taunggyi. The Myanmar army is currently carrying out a massive military offensive against local resistance groups. They are extremely ruthless and brutal against the civilian population.
More than 100,000 persons had to flee to the mountains, there were many dead among the civilian population. The army has not held back from destroying catholic churches, in which women, children, and elderly people had sought shelter.
The priests in the area put up the refugees in their mountain communities, but can only provide for them for limited periods. The military regime is not permitting humanitarian organizations access to the area, which means that people are reliant on locally organized assistance financed through private donations. Due to the tense economic situation in the country the total donations have been small.
The rainy season has also started in Myanmar, which poses an additional threat to the refugees who are camping in the open.
Tents, tarps, warm blankets, basic nutrition such as rice, beans and oil as well as medicine to treat diarrheal diseases are therefore desperately required support goods. Donations are made locally to purchase and transport these relief supplies in the affected areas.
Normally the basic occupation of the St. Lazarus-Fonds is to support lepers, but due to our affinity to those in southern Shan and Kayah States we want to make a one-time 5000 US-Dollar donation to help relieve the stress of the refugees. We are therefore hoping for your generous support.