U.S. asked to take action in Burma

By January 14, 2013

Burma (MNN) — The United States and the United Nations are now on alert after the government of Burma admitted to carrying out airstrikes against rebel fighters in the northern state of Kachin. That confession has groups supporting Burma's ethnic Kachin people calling the U.S. to action. Fighting between Burma's government and Kachin rebels has dramatically increased over the past few months.

Andy Pasma with Partners Relief and Development says, "With this new offensive against the Kachin, it's going to impact their ability to control the ground that the refugees are now occupying. Obviously a concern there would be the safety of the refugees as the fighting escalates."

This fighting is significant, Pasma says, "The Chachin state and the Burmese government had a 17 year cease fire prior to the fighting that started two years ago." 

Pasma says the Rohingya people need aid, too. Their situation began when Buddhist Rakhine and Rohingya started battling each other last May. The government relocated the Rohingya to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, but only if they renounce their citizenship to Burma. Many will not do that.

Pasma says, "They have no shelter, they have no food, they have no water. Partners has been able to bring in a couple of doctors, and as far as we know, those are the only two doctors there to help well over 120,000 people." Pray that the Lord would provide help. "If we have doctors or nurses that are listening, this is a very critical need. We are trying to find people who are willing to come in and help."

If you're a doctor, Pasma says they could use you. "We simply need doctors who are willing to take a couple of weeks to cover over and help Partners out."

PRAD has seen gaunt malnourished children, mothers with tragic stories of violence, and fear. But, workers were brought to tears by a little girl and her father playing with a balloon. [They] were hitting it back and forth to each other, both laughing as it got blown away from them on gusts of wind. And, it seemed like the most precious thing, like a little flash of how things should be in the middle of lots and lots of sadness.

PRAD is trying to be a light for Christ in a very dark place. They can do that as they provide food, water, shelter, medical care and more. Pasma says you can make a difference without even having to leave your home. "It obviously costs money to buy rice, tarps, and so if people are interested in helping out, go to http://www.PartnersWorld.org. "

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