For more than a week, thousands of Karen villagers who fled the airstrikes on March 27 that targeted the Karen National Union (KNU) stronghold have been stranded in the jungle, starving and in fear for their lives. This a direct effect of the Myanmar military coup that began on 1 February, that is now targeting ethnic minorities such as those in Karen State.
This offensive led to several reported deaths and injuries. Some 10,000 Karen villagers—from the very young to the very old—sought shelter and refuge by crossing the Salween River into neighboring Thailand. Thai authorities did not allow them to enter the country. In despair, they were made to cross back. Daring not to return to their villages facing imminent attack, they took to the jungles.
Ceasefire processes beginning in 2012 afforded stability to the lives of villagers uprooted by decades of civil conflict. The recent attacks and displacement into jungle hideouts have once more made their lives insecure. They believed they'd have a better chance if they hid in the jungle. But food and drinking water and other necessities like medicines quickly ran out. “We can’t tend to our crops, our children can’t go to school and it’s unsafe to even stay in your own home.” With the COVID crisis unchecked and the threat of escalating violence, the situation will become dire very, very soon. Immediate action is required.
BHF and SMRU are together to support those Karen internal displaced persons (IDPs) by collaborating with our partners along the border. You are the most welcome to be part of this support.
Donations can be made directly to The Borderland Health Foundation (details provided below).
The Borderland Health Foundation
Saving account, TMB Bank Public Company Ltd., Mae sod branch
Account Number: 414-2-34779-0
Swift Code: TMBKTHBK
Please submit your contact information for confirmation of receipt