photo by jon nicholson

feature story - Board Member Brad Pitt Visits Burma Border, Announces $500,000 Lifesaving Grant

february 20th, 2009

“Having just returned from the region, I’ve seen the incredible hardships faced by men, women, and children as they fight to survive. Basic services including clean water, food, and medical care are in short supply for many of the country’s most vulnerable,” said Not On Our Watch co-founder Brad Pitt. “Survival in times like these continues to be against the odds. We are proud to support the work of organizations including WFP that combat these problems, and we remain hopeful that the international community will take a lead in addressing their causes in the long term.”

In its continuing efforts to provide aid to the victims of Burma’s ongoing humanitarian crisis, Not On Our Watch has awarded a combined (US)$500,000 to lifesaving and humanitarian programs reaching tens of thousands of at-risk Burmese.

Through partnerships with four humanitarian organizations, Not On Our Watch will support food assistance programs in Burma’s Northern Rakhine State, as well as emergency medical care programs and basic education initiatives along the Thailand-Burma border.

-Not On Our Watch funds will feed 40,000 small-scale farmers and their family members in Burma’s Northern Rakhine State, one of several recently identified “hunger hotspots” across the country. Several hundred thousand people are without adequate access to food supplies or the means to pay for food for their families in these areas.

-Not On Our Watch funds will give Burmese refugees on the Thai-Burma border access to medical procedures that cannot be performed at basic border clinics, including Cesarean sections and complicated surgeries. This grant will also provide supplementary nutrition for children, people living with HIV/AIDS, and disabled and elderly persons.

-Not On Our Watch funds will further support teacher training along the Thai-Burma border, as well as provide for the creation and distribution of learning materials. This grant will likewise provide university preparation for selected students for university courses in English, as well as support scholarships directed towards maximizing the number of Burmese students receiving education in subjects relevant to peace, human development, and ethnic reconciliation.

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