Australia's Assistance to Refugees on the Thai-Myanmar Border—Independent Evaluation Report and management response
The situation of around 130,000 refugees from Myanmar living in camps in Thailand is one of the most protracted in the world. As refugees are confined to nine closed camps, and Thai law does not allow them to seek employment, their dependence on aid has created many social, psychological and protection concerns. AusAID has provided $17m (to June 2012) of humanitarian assistance since 1999. In 2010-11 annual support tripled to around $3 million and increased again to $3.5 million in 2011-12.
AusAID support is channelled through three Australian NGOs: Act for Peace; Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA; and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to four implementing partners in Thailand:
- The Border Consortium – core contribution to all camp activities
- International Rescue Committee – health services in three camps
- ADRA Thailand – vocational training in three camps
- Mae Tao Clinic – health services and training for migrants
The purpose of the evaluation was to assess Australia's assistance to refugees on the Thai-Myanmar border from 2010 to 2012. The report examines the appropriateness of the programs given Australia's aid to Myanmar is increasingly rapidly and the context in Myanmar has changed significantly situation.
The report identifies lessons for the design of future support to refugees on the Thai-Myanmar border.
The management response to the independent evaluation of AusAID's programs on the Thai-Myanmar border found that Australia's current aid program in the camps is appropriate and provides essential humanitarian assistance that is based on good quality needs assessment. The Management Response accepts all the recommendations of the evaluation and outlines steps to date to implement the recommendations.