In light of the escalating conflict in Myanmar, where about 7,000 refugees have fled attacks by the military regime, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has committed SEK 3 million (US$360,000) in emergency cash grants, primarily for basic kitchen equipment and hygiene kits, to be administered by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
With a large proportion of the refugees being children, part of Sweden’s support has also been allocated toward educating parents and school personnel on how to provide psychosocial support to children and toward school kits, as many schools have been closed.
"The situation has escalated rapidly, and many people have left their homes without even having brought the essentials, which is why it is especially important that we now act quickly to get the most basic things out, such as pots, hygiene kits, and more,” said Sida's Director-General, Carin Jämtin.
In 2020, Sweden's official development assistance (ODA) to Myanmar was SEK 309 million (US$37 million), SEK 26 million (US$3 million) of which was humanitarian support. Sida has since suspended some of its ODA for Myanmar, following the military coup in February 2021. Sida nevertheless continues to support activities focusing on strengthening democracy and human rights.