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ICG Wants Direct Aid to Burma's Minority Groups - 2004-09-12


An international rights group has called on Western nations to provide aid to Burma's poverty-stricken border areas as a way of alleviating suffering from years of war and violence.

The International Crisis Group issued a report Friday saying development and humanitarian aid should be earmarked specifically for ethnic minority groups along Burma's borders with Thailand, Laos, China, India and Bangladesh.

Those areas are desperately poor, although they are near some of the world's fastest-growing economies.

Much of the West refuses to deal directly with Burma's military government because of its poor human rights record. The International Crisis Group recommends that humanitarian assistance be allowed to bypass the central government and go directly to the border regions.

Some experts question whether such a plan is feasible.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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