Statement from CARE’s Vice President of Humanitarian Affairs, Deepmala Mahla:
“CARE is deeply concerned about the impact of Myanmar’s deteriorating COVID-19 situation on vulnerable communities. We are hearing reports of long queues of people trying to secure limited oxygen supplies for loved ones battling the virus, and a record 5,014 COVID-19 cases and 80 deaths were reported on 12 July. But with low testing rates, we fear the true extent of the crisis is far worse.
“The deepening COVID-19 crisis will undoubtedly exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation in the country, where access to essential services and supplies is incredibly challenging. CARE is particularly concerned for vulnerable groups, especially women, who are often disproportionately affected in times of crisis.
“CARE calls upon ASEAN member states to re-double efforts to work together, and with other countries in the region and the international community, to urgently find a durable and peaceful solution to the ongoing political crisis, so efforts can be focused on addressing the COVID-19 threat.
“It is imperative that humanitarian agencies are afforded unimpeded access to affected communities to provide much-needed assistance. CARE calls upon all parties to the ongoing conflict to assure and support neutral, independent humanitarian assistance to vulnerable communities. The people of Myanmar need our help to avert more needless suffering.”