Myanmar Red Cross ramps up support for hundreds of thousands of people

(Reuters) – Myanmar’s Red Cross is stepping up support for hundreds of thousands of people as the economic crisis since the Feb. 1 coup compounds hardship caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, the aid organisation said on Tuesday.

“Many people are struggling to earn an income and have very limited access to basic services such as healthcare,” the group’s secretary general, Htin Zaw Soe, said in a statement.

The Red Cross said it would be increasing support for 236,000 people across Myanmar with the help of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Assistance would include food relief and cash assistance.

The country of 53 million people has been plunged into chaos since the army overthrew elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The economy has been paralysed by strikes; anti-junta protests take place daily; hundreds of opponents of military rule have been killed by security forces and thousands detained while conflicts have flared in Myanmar’s borderlands.

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