Taking Action on the Thai-Burma Border

By Trent Martin, 21Wilberforce Advocacy & Training Coordinator

21Wilberforce partners with a seminary on the Thai-Burma (also known as Myanmar) border that is working to help address a crisis that displaced people fleeing a new military offensive by the Karen National Union. This recent occurrence forced the Myanmar military junta to surrender the strategic border town of Myawaddy last week. They provided the following update from the frontlines where they work from the city of Mae Sot in Thailand, right across the border from Myawaddy. 

“Kawthoolei Hope Theological Seminary (KHTS) is helping to address the influx of war victims in the volatile and crisis-ridden Thai-Myanmar border region. The situation has reached a critical point, with escalating violence and displacement posing imminent danger to thousands of lives.

The recent spate of bombings and military operations has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian crisis. As a result, we are witnessing a significant influx of refugees fleeing across the border into Thailand, seeking safety and shelter from the conflict. At present, we are providing assistance to approximately 25,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) who have sought refuge in makeshift camps and settlements across the border. These include sites such as Noh Poe Htee Moo Hta, Palu Plaw Tapoe, Thay Baw Boe, Ler Khor, Kneh Lay Hta, Baw Ner Hta, and Ta Law Thaw, among others.

In our (KHTS) efforts to address the emergency needs of these vulnerable people, we have undertaken to provide essential food aid in the form of rice. Our plan is to distribute rice to the IDPs once every two weeks for the next two months, ensuring they have access to basic staple food during this challenging period. 

We kindly request your continued prayers for the situation in this region. We believe in the power of prayer to bring comfort, strength, and hope to those who are suffering, and your spiritual support is invaluable to us.” 

The leader of KHTS, Dr. Wado, is working to meet both the immediate needs of the displaced people for rice and to work towards long-term peace and reconciliation work. He is looking to find, what he calls, “upstream solutions” instead of crisis management and emergency responses..

Thailand has announced that they will take up to 100,000 more people from Myanmar who have been displaced by the conflict.