In 2020, Burma Humanitarian Mission supported Backpack Medics operating in isolated regions of Burma where the Burma Army continues to wage an aggressive campaign against the country’s ethnic minorities.
Specific objectives we achieved:
The end of 2020 and start of 2021 bring a fresh set of challenges for the backpack medics.
On February 1st, Burma's military seized power after losing overwhelmingly during their November 2020 national election.
COVID supplies – for prevention, diagnostics, and treatment – remain in short supplies. COVID test kits do not exist and vaccines are not expected for the foreseeable future.
The Backpack Medics face an increasing deficit of donor funds. Canada’s Burma Relief Center, Open Society Forum and Malteser International have reduced support by over $140,000.
BHM is pursuing additional funding support. Without funding, each backpack medic program will have to reduce their efforts to care for their people.
The February 2021 military coup dynamically and dramatically changed the outlook for 2021. The military has suspended all civil and individual liberties in the urban areas. The coup wiped out the marginal progress made Burma-wide with the 2008 constitution and past elections.
The impact in the ethnic minority areas is yet to be seen. At best, the military will be distracted with mass protests in the cities. At worst, any perceived restraint on the military will be gone. A temporary alignment of ethnic majority and ethnic minority interests may occur, but will be unlikely to last.
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