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ICRC President Visits Myanmar to Discuss Humanitarian Issues

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The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, visited Myanmar to meet with Commanderin-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, on 3rd June 2021.

During the meeting, President Maurer emphasized that ICRC's humanitarian activities in Myanmar have significantly developed and diversified over the past years.

"Caught between armed conflict, COVID-19 and the current situation, people in Myanmar are in need of urgent assistance and protection," said President Maurer.

"This visit aimed to share ICRC's concerns on the current humanitarian situation and reinforce ongoing eorts to ensure space for neutral and impartial humanitarian action".

Given the scope and the scale of current needs, President Maurer made a case for broader humanitarian access including in Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Shan and Rakhine States.

He also expressed the importance for the ICRC to resume its purely humanitarian visits and activities in places of detention, which have been on hold since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such visits and activities are essential to secure humane treatment and conditions of detention for all detainees and to restore communication between detainees and their families.

In the framework of ICRC's confidential dialogue with military and security forces in Myanmar, President Maurer also raised key humanitarian issues including the use of force during security operations.

Finally, President Maurer reiterated ICRC's commitment to reinforce its support to the Myanmar Red Cross Society's humanitarian work, especially in the area of first aid, ambulance services, emergency response and COVID-19 prevention. This support is in close cooperation with other Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners in Myanmar.

The ICRC has been helping people aected by armed conflicts and violence in Myanmar for more than 30 years. Its exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suering by promoting and strengthening international humanitarian law (IHL) and universal humanitarian principles.