10 January 2022, Paletwa
Camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Chin State’s Paletwa town have been running low on food for weeks, said managers of the camps.
The World Food Programme (WFP) mainly provides food for the IDP camps and they have not received food since the second week of December 2021.
U Shwe Sein Maung, manager of Site Pyo Yay IDP camp in Paletwa town, said: “Foods were to be provided on December 18, but we are not provided foods so far. In the third week of December, the WFP told us it will provide food for 20 days. Then, the following day, it phoned us saying it will be delayed a week. It is more than a week now.”
WFP reportedly told the camp manager it would provide money in lieu because it faced difficulty transporting rice to Paletwa town.
“We haven’t received money so far, though they told us they would provide money instead of rice,” the IDP camp manager said.
IDPs are working any job they can get as the camps have grown short of food, said one displaced person at Baw Lone Kwin IDP camp in Paletwa town, who asked for anonymity.
“There is no reserved food. A tin of rice is provided for a meal a day, so families with children have some food. They mainly depend on the food provided by WFP. So, they are working any available job to earn money for their livelihood,” he said.
There are more than 7,000 IDPs at five displacement camps in Paletwa town.
The IDPs are from villages in Paletwa Township and they have been taking shelter at IDP camps in Paletwa town for nearly three years due to fighting between Myanmar military and Arakan Army that started in late 2018.
DMG attempts to seek comment from the Paletwa Township administrator and other relevant officials about food shortages in the IDP camps were unsuccessful.
Some IDPs returned home in September 2021, when the regime council provided money for them to do so, but thousands of people have remained in the camps.