Christians are disadvantaged

Christians are disadvantaged

Aid organizations in Myanmar try to help victims of the floods. However, the government is reluctant to allow them into the minority regions, where Christians and Muslims in particular live.

Interviewer: What extent has the catastrophe in Myanmar reached in the meantime??

Ulrich Delius:
(Society for Threatened Peoples): The situation is particularly bad in the coastal regions, especially in Rakhine State. This is the state that has also been massively affected by unrest for three years, where many people are on the run, where there are still 140.000 people live in refugee camps. And for them, of course, it is especially bad because they are weakened and then there is this flood disaster and this hurricane. This is an extremely difficult situation.

Interviewer: Are the aid organizations already helping?

Delius: Of course, international and national aid organizations have been trying to help for days now. The problem is really getting to the people in need. There are many roads flooded, many bridges have been washed away. The accessibility is the big problem, we had that also already with the earthquake disaster in Nepal. This poses a great challenge to the logisticians.
Interviewer: How does the situation look politically, how easy is it to help in the country in the meantime??
Delius: Fortunately, things have improved a bit compared to the situation in 2008, when a major hurricane devastated large parts of the region, and the 140.000 people died. At that time, the government did not allow aid from abroad. That has changed. Now they are ready and even call for international help. This is progress. But the devil is in the details, if you then want to help, for example, in minority regions where Christians and Muslims live. Then the political leadership has difficulties again and wants to take care of the Buddhists first, and there are great fears that the discrimination against minorities could continue there as well.

The interview was conducted by Christian Schlegel.

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