Press Notice 32, Session 2006-07

Oral Evidence Session

DFID assistance to Burmese internally displaced people and refugees on the Thai-Burma border

Thursday 7 June 2007 at 10.30am

Committee Room 6

At 10.30:

• Christian Solidarity Worldwide

• Burma Campaign UK

At 11.30:

• Dr Thomas Lee, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine


Hundreds of thousands of Burmese people have left their homes since the establishment of military government in Burma in 1962, leading to mass displacement within Burma and into neighbouring countries. As in other cases of displacement, Burmese internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees face particular humanitarian and development challenges. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has said about Burma:  “Humanitarian needs are particularly acute in border areas that have been plagued for decades by instability and armed conflict.”

The IDC’s inquiry will explore the following:

• The particular needs of IDPs in Burma and refugees in Thailand.

• The challenges faced in delivering aid and assistance to these groups.

• How different ethnic groups are affected by displacement.

• The likely trends in the region in terms of displacement, and development and humanitarian needs. 

• How donors can assist IDPs in Burma and refugees in Thailand most effectively.

• The advantages and disadvantages of cross-border assistance compared to other ways of assisting IDPs in Burma.

• The impact of the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) policies in relation to Burma’s IDPs and refugees.

This is the first evidence session in the inquiry. The first panel offers the opportunity to gather the views of two campaigning NGOs on DFID’s assistance to Burmese IDPs and refugees The second half of the session will focus on the provision of healthcare to IDPs and refugees. Dr Thomas Lee works on Burma's borders with community-based health organisations focusing on healthcare delivery, malaria, tuberculosis, landmines and human rights violations in ethnic minority areas.


Further Information:

The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Quentin Davies MP (Con), James Duddridge MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh MP (Lab). Sir Robert Smith MP (Lib Dem)

Committee Contact: Chloe Challender 020 7219 1522 or

Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 020 7219 1589 or

Committee website:

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