Thursday, September 21, 2017

Red Cross vows to protect civilians in conflict areas

The Myanmar Red Cross Society vowed to help protect civilians caught in the middle of armed conflict.

“Let’s work together with global and local organisations,” said Dr Daw Mya Thu, president of Myanmar Red Cross Society, as the country marked the World Humanitarian Day on August 18, a day earlier than the actual global celebration of the event.

Dr Daw Mya Thu underscored the need to work together to find safe ways to reach people in need but at the same time avoiding unnecessary loss of lives in humanita-rian operations.

Myanmar has over 1,302,326 refugees, according to UNHCR data in 2016.

But Dr Daw Mya Thu said she anticipates an increase in the number of displaced people in the country amid unstable peace process and border line affairs and national security alert.

“We have to do our best as aid organisations,” she added.

Myanmar actor Wai Lu Kyaw said he is willing to do his bit to help in humanitarian efforts to help people displaced by conflicts.

“I’m so happy to participate in efforts of Myanmar aid organizations because at least I can raise awareness to international community about the current situation in Myanmar” said Wai Lu Kyaw, who is also a volunteer member in Myanmar Red Cross organization.

“There are a lot of work that needs to be done, we have to participate in saving people with every way we can,” he added.

Daw Khon Ja, a member of the local aid group Kachin Peace Network said humanitarian organisations must be realistic in its activities.

“We need a realistic support to our IDPs,” she said.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged people to join in the efforts to help civilians displaced by armed conflicts.

“Today, millions of people around the world are engulfed in conflicts that are not of their own making,” the UN secretary general said.

The special campaign for 2017 World Humanitarian Day is hashtag #NotATarget, which is being used in social media such as Facebook as part of the digital push to mobilize people around the world to take part in the call to action to help displaced civilians.

In 2008, The UN General Assembly designated August 19 as World Humanitarian Day to raise awareness about humanitarian assistance worldwide. This date is also the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad.