Nyan Hein | DMG
13 January 2021, Sittwe

Some camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) in downtown Buthidaung, Arakan State, are currently facing food shortages due to lack of donations from well-wishers, according to IDP camp officials.

Displaced people taking shelter at relief camps at Yanaungmyay Monastery, Gandaryi philanthropic centre, Lanma Monastery, Myataung Monastery and Myaungnar IDP camp are reportedly experiencing livelihood hardships.

“We have been sheltering at this IDP camp for over a year. There was a battle near our village and people fled because of shelling in the village. Before the epidemic, we used to go out and work, but now we cannot work. With fewer donors, we have difficulty finding food,” said Ko Maung Khin Nyunt, a displaced person from Kuntaung village who is currently taking shelter at an IDP camp at Myataung Monastery.

At present, as many as 1,000 people from Sitaung, Ceditaung and Kuntaung villages in Buthidaung Township and Ohphauk, Thameehla and Yaykaungchaung villages in Rathedaung Township are taking refuge at the Myataung Monastery IDP camp.

“The IDPs are facing many difficulties and are in urgent need of blankets and clothes in the winter,” said U Ardeiksa, a Buddhist monk from Gandaryi philanthropic centre.

The centre houses over 1,000 displaced people from Kanchaychaung, Myochaung, Ywathit, and Ywahaung villages in Buthidaung Township.

“In our IDP camp, IDPs have difficulty finding food and shelter. This is the summer, so it is convenient for IDPs for their livelihood by cutting firewood. However, the living conditions were not good, and the houses were almost destroyed,” said U Eindarwuntha, a Buddhist monk and in-charge of an IDP camp in Yanaungmyay Monastery.

The IDP camp hosts more than 700 displaced people from Thayetpyin, Kyarnyopyin, Ngwaryonetaung, Uyinthar, Kuntaung, Sangotaung and Kanpyin villages in Buthidaung Township.

The number of IDPs in Arakan State remains north of 180,000 due to clashes between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army over the past two years, according to data released by the Rakhine Ethnics Congress (REC) on January 12.

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