Kyaw Thu Htay | DMG
January 31, Sittwe
Some IDP camps in remote parts of northern Arakan State are reporting food shortages due to lack of aid deliveries, according to officials at the camps.
About 300 people taking shelter at the Phakywe IDP camp in Ponnagyun Township are facing difficulties meeting basic needs, food being foremost among them, said U Than Myint, the camp’s in-charge.
He said the IDPs could support their own food requirements in their lives before they were displaced to the camps, but confined to Phakywe, many have been robbed of that self-reliance.
“Now, we are relying on others’ aid. As we are refugees, we miss the chance to take larger rations. So we would like to ask the aid groups to fairly provide food to us,” he said.
Similarly, food shortages have been reported at Wataung IDP camp in Minbya Township and Pethadu IDP camp in Rathedaung Township, said camp officials.
Refugees at the Wataung camp are fishing and cutting firewood to meet some of their daily needs, but as they weigh foraging for food in the jungle and hillsides surrounding the camp, they worry about the potential presence of landmines, said Ashin Uttara, the camp’s in-charge.
The monk added, “Now, there is no rice or edible oil for the refugees’ consumption. Some families net fish outside the camp and cut firewood for sale to earn an income to solve their food problems. No organization has made donations to us yet.”
Due to clashes between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army (AA) in Arakan State, more than 100,000 people have been displaced, with many struggling to meet basic food, shelter and clothing needs.