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Commissioner Georgieva discusses ways to step up support for the most vulnerable in Burma/Myanmar

Commissioner Georgieva with
humanitarian workers in Yangon  © EU
10/09/2011  - 

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva has just completed a humanitarian mission to Burma/Myanmar. In Naypyidaw and Yangon she discussed the challenges of managing disasters and humanitarian problems with government representatives and humanitarian partners of the European Commission. Georgieva also became the first EU Commissioner to be received by Aung San Suu Kyi.

”The Commission is a large donor of humanitarian assistance in Burma/Myanmar, where a lot of people are vulnerable to earthquakes, cyclones and floods, conflict and poverty,” Commissioner Georgieva recalled. “Because of these risks, we need assurances that humanitarian agencies will have full access to those who need relief and that the authorities are working to improve the population’s resilience to disasters. My discussions with ministers, Aung San Suu Kyi and humanitarian organisations give me hope that we will be able to do more to tackle these challenges,” she explained.

The Commissioner met with the Ministers for Border Affairs and Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, and the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs. She presented the policy framework through which the European Union can support countries struck by disasters and emphasised the need to boost disaster resilience in Burma/Myanmar. Georgieva highlighted the need to improve humanitarian access to the communities affected by conflict, particularly in border areas.

The Commissioner visited Aung San Suu Kyi, with whom she also spoke about humanitarian and disaster-related priorities. “Aung San Suu Kyi is the face and the voice of the most vulnerable people in Burma/Myanmar. As the EU humanitarian aid commissioner, I was glad to have the opportunity to present to her our response to humanitarian challenges and disasters and to discuss how Europe can help the most needy people in her country in their quest for survival and development,” Georgieva said.