A Japanese philanthropic organization said it is sending $3 million in immediate aid to ethnic groups in Burma, some of which are still locked in armed conflict with the Burmese government.
Officials said the government has given its support to the aid shipment, seeing it as a way to help end the ethnic fighting.
The announcement was made by the Nippon Foundation last week in Tokyo after meeting with representatives from the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), a coalition of Burmese ethnic groups who are seeking peace talks with the government. The UNFC is not recognized by the Burmese government.
Foundation officials said the first shipments of food and medicine will be sent in the coming months, according to an article on the Voice of America website.
Khun Myint Htun of the Pa-O Nationalities Liberation Group was at the meeting as part of the UNFC group, and he said the aid will make an immediate impact.
The UNFC includes the Karen National Union and the Kachin Independence Organization.
Fighting between the Burmese army and Kachin rebels broke out last year and is still taking place and has escalated recently near Hpakant, where the world's best quality jadeite is mined.
Khun Myint Htun said the aid is “in the form of rice and medicine which are urgently in need.” He said aid will be given to the Kachin area “as a priority” because of the large number of displaced people in the area affected by the fighting.