270 - Humanitarian Aid Stories Saving Children in Reformed Myanmar
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Humanitarian Aid Stories: Saving Children in Reformed Myanmar

After huge political reforms in the last decade, the situation in Myanmar has improved dramatically. The oppressive army was ousted, but despite this progress, life for many children remains a struggle.

Political reforms in Myanmar has not benefitted children

Myanmar has been praised for political reforms in 2010, which eventually resulted in the huge election victory of Aung San Suu Kyi in November 2015, ending decades of oppressive army rule. Despite the reform and undertaken efforts by the new government, children are still being affected by fighting and poverty. They are not reaping the benefits of the developments, Unicef says.

Up to 150 children die every day in Myanmar before they reach their fifth birthday. In a report, Unicef calls for the government to end blocks on humanitarian access to conflict areas. Almost 30 percent of children under five suffer from moderate or severe malnutrition and more than half of all children live below the poverty line. The child mortality rate is approximately 50 per 1,000 live births in Myanmar.

Remote areas like Kachin, Shan and Kayin states continue to experience recurrent clashes between the Myanmar military and ethnic minorities. Communities find themselves at risk from poverty, statelessness and trafficking, while having only limited access to crucial health and education services, Unicef said.

Rakhine state, which lays in the west of Myanmar, 120,000 internally displaced people live in camps as a result of inter-communal conflict that erupted in 2012. The government does not provide Rohingya Muslims full citizenship rights, and violence against the group has surged since October following attacks on border guard posts. Humanitarian aid access to Rakhine has improved slightly this year, but it remains very problematic.

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