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Myanmar: Emergency relief for displaced people after fighting with the military

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Johanniter provides 10,000 Euros for emergency relief measures

Berlin – Lay Kay Kaw, a town in Myawaddy County, Kayin State, was stormed by the Burmese military on 14 December and captured at least 20 activists. The town, close to the Thai border, is a refuge for many government workers who had participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) since the coup began on 1 February 2021.

During the storming, fighting broke out between the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the military. The population in the area, especially the elderly, women and children were evacuated. "Around 5000 people fled to the forests and towns in the Myanmar border area. Around 10,000 people crossed the border and sheltered in the Thai border town of Mae Sot," says Helen Guillermo, Johanniter Head of Mission for Myanmar.

First aid supplies

Together with their partners Karen Department of Health and Welfare (KDHW) and the Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP), Johanniter supports the displaced people from Lay Kay Kaw who are now in Plaw T’ Poh near the Thai border. "The refugees had to leave all their belongings behind and are left with nothing. Now in winter, they are therefore in urgent need of food, water, shelter and medicines to treat injuries," reports a KDHW staff member. Johanniter has made 10,000 Euros available for emergency measures.


Lay Kay Kaw is a town in Myawaddy County, Karen State. Lay Kay Kaw is located about 15 kilometres from the district capital Myawaddy and 5 kilometres from the Thai border. About 4000 people live in the town. The area is controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU). Johanniter and its partner organisation KHDW have built the local health centre and run it with KDHW staff. The activities are financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

About Johanniter International Assistance

Humanitarian aid abroad is a statutory task of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe. It is implemented by Johanniter International Assistance. More than 280 international and local staff members work in 11 country offices and in Berlin. Johanniter has been active in Myanmar for 13 years, providing assistance mainly to ethnic minority areas, such as Karen, Chin and Shan State.

Note to editors:

Staff members of Johanniter partner organisations are available for interviews

Press contact:

Sandra Lorenz, Head of Communications
Mobil: +49 (0)172 / 563 87 40, sandra.lorenz@johanniter.de
Regular updates on Twitter @JohanniterInt