JAKARTA: Two years have passed since Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup against the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
Since then, more than 2,000 pro-democracy civilians have been killed. According to the United Nations, more than 1.4 million people have also been internally displaced since the coup, and the future of Myanmar’s 54 million people remains uncertain.
Myanmar was already one of Southeast Asia’s poorest countries prior to the coup. With more than 100 ethnic groups in the Buddhist-majority country, the central government fought for decades against some of them.
Many humanitarian groups in Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, had been involved in helping people in Myanmar.
Among them is Jakarta-based Dompet Dhuafa, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that used to regularly send humanitarian aid to Myanmar. However, its philanthropic work in Myanmar has come to a complete standstill, said its general manager for advocacy and strategic alliance Arif Rahmadi Haryono.
“Since the takeover of power by the military, the partners of Dompet Dhuafa have pulled many of their personnel out of Myanmar,” Mr Haryono told CNA.
“To our knowledge, it was because of safety and security issues related to the social and political situation,” he said.
Prior to the coup, Dompet Dhuafa worked with other humanitarian organisations as well as the Indonesian government to distribute aid.
Without local partners, Dompet Dhuafa is unable to assess the real condition on the ground and coordinate with stakeholders.