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Update #5 ·

Take Part in the Kachin Global Day of Action

This weekend marks the 2nd anniversary of the Burmese military's breaking of the 17-year ceasefire with the Kachin in northeastern Burma. Two years later, the war continues. Its toll on the Kachin people is devestating: sexual violence, extrajudicial killings and arrests, torture, forced portering, use of villagers as human shields and landmine sweepers, land seizures, denial of humanitarian aid, and human trafficking.

Exacerbating the suffering of the Kachin who have had to flee their homes and live in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps on the Burma-China border, the US government has not provided humanitarian assistance to the more than 70,000 IDPs who need it the most - shameful!

Take part in today's Kachin Global Day of Action with us! Please:

Tell USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah to provide life-saving aid to community-based relief groups for the 100,000 Kachin IDPs
Post about the Kachin on your Facebook (you can “share” stories from the USCB Facebook page, or post "Take part in the Kachin Global Day of Action! Tell USAID to provide aid to Kachin IDPs after 2 years of attacks on the Kachin by the Burmese military"),
Tweet @rajshah (the twitter handle of USAID’s Dr. Rajiv Shah) and @USAID, demanding they take action; (Sample tweet: "Tell @rajshah @USAID to provide humanitarian aid to #Kachin #IDPs in #Burma: #KachinNOW"); hashtag #KachinNOW,
Read the Kachin Global Day of Action statement and the statement from civil society groups in Burma lobbying for peace,
Make a donation to relief groups that run the IDP camps (Write “Kachin” in the “in honor of” section on USCB’s donation page), and
Tell your friends about the plight of the Kachin!

Despite their suffering, the Kachin have held strong to their desire for a durable peace through the establishment of a federal democratic union. Today, US Campaign for Burma and 59 other community organizations and advocacy groups from 21 nations are calling for the establishment of a federal democratic Burma to guarantee a durable peace.

Kachin community organized relief committees are doing all they can to assist their people, but they desperately need more supplies and assistance. Preventable illnesses and deaths caused by lack of food, medicine, unsanitary conditions, and exposure to the elements are taking their toll on these IDPs. On June 5, the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand released its report Pushed to the Brink, exposing how the Burmese government’s war against the Kachin has increased the risk of human trafficking on the China-Burma border.

Please tell USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah to urgently provide humanitarian assistance to the Kachin community-based relief groups so that they can carry on their work and save the lives of Kachin who have already had to endure 2 years of displacement and hunger. Aid to Kachin community relief committees will ensure immediate and effective delivery to the communities who desperately need it but have no other way of getting assistance.

The international community desperately wants to believe Burma’s regime is sincere about reform and reward them for it. We have a responsibility to ensure that international engagement does not come at the expense of the lives of the Kachin people.

In solidarity,

Rachel Wagley, USCB

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