With the help of some timely food parcels British Asian Christian Association, have been able to prevent the starvation of numerous Pak-Christian Asylum seekers in Bangkok, Thailand. While the UK has ended it’s lockdown citizens of Thailand await a further few weeks before their 2nd Lockdown is to be lifted.
When a lockdown was declared on 20th July 2021, the Royal Thai Government confirmed that it would not be a nationwide lockdown but one restricted to the 29 most affected provinces till mid-August. However on 16th August with over 21,000 new cases being raised every day the partial lockdown was extended to the end of August.
For the 1000’s of Pak-Christian asylum seekers in Thailand this has made life extremely difficult. Those who were living hand-to-mouth before the lockdown by working endless hours for a pittance in black market jobs found themselves without the ability to purchase food for the table.
Many would share food with neighbours and friends as people in the community have in the large been supportive of one another. But eventually more and more of the community began to find themselves near starvation.
Some local churches have been providing food packages but the levels of aid have not been enough to support the swathes of desperate asylum seekers. British Asian Christian Association, have been involved in this process and have been supporting families with food parcels.
We have already helped 20 families with food and will continue for the next few months, after which this current lockdown will end.
On 23rd August, The Department of Disease Control (DDC) in Thailand announced that since Covid-19 cases have peaked and are now declining, lockdown measures will be lifted at the end of the month. Our assumption is that this means the lockdown will end on 31st August 2021 though the DDC have said they will be monitoring infection rates over the coming days for a final decision.
On Monday Thailand logged 17,491 new Covid-19 cases along with 242 more fatalities, reported Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)
The new infections, the lowest since July 30, brought the country’s total tally to 1,066,786. Meanwhile, 22,134 more patients were discharged from hospitals.
The CCSA also said more than 90 percent of the deaths recorded over the last 24 hours were either citizens aged 60 or over or patients with chronic diseases. The country’s death toll now reached 9,562. Thailand is currently administering COVID-19 vaccinations to over 60’s, pregnant women and those with a serious health condition and this is being rolled out to the asylum seeker community too.
DDC has reported that between 28th February and 22nd August, over 27 million doses of vaccines were administered. They also stated that 500,000 jabs were being given on most weekdays. The Thai government plans to administer at least 100 million doses by the end of this year. They have confirmed that roughly 8.7 percent of Thailand’s nearly 70 million population have been fully vaccinated.
However, despite the improved roll out Pakistani Christian asylum seekers are extremely fearful. One of our regular beneficiaries, said:
“Our black-market work places us in crowded places and infections will spread like wildfire once lockdown is lifted.
“If we get infected we will not be able to afford medicines to ease our symptoms, worse still only a few hospitals will allow us entry.
“If we go to hospital we do not know if we will be sent to the brutal Immigration Detention Centre in Bangkok, we face a great dilemma.
“Thailand is dependent on tourism to help their economy, when travellers begin to return here we face a whole new set of problems.”
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“The Royal Thai Government (RTG) has signed the UN Convention for human rights and still refuses to care for the numerous asylum seekers who have entered into Bangkok.
“Using their failure to ratify the Un Convention for Asylum as an excuse they have used brutal arrest and the decrepit IDC system to make the lives of persecution-fleeing-refugees comparable to what they escaped from.
“Their dire treatment of asylum seekers has been highlighted internationally yet the RTG continue their undesirable treatment of suffering humans under the watchful eyes of a toothless UNHCR.
“We continue to highlight this awful situation and to provide help to those we can through God’s grace.”
British Asian Christian Association, aims to provide more food packages to families during the next few months to help families cope with the financial strain that has been introduced by the recent lockdown. We cannot do this without your help and if you have been moved by todays account and feel you would like to help you can either donate (here) or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with any other offers of help.