After Receiving Govt Aid, IDPs in Meezar Village Still Hungry

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Internally displaced persons (IDPs), who are taking refuge in Meezar village after fleeing from conflict in southern Chin State, don’t have enough to eat even after receiving financial aid from the state government and the World Food Programme (WFP). 

The Ministry of Social, Relief and Resettlement and WFP provided IDPs with some money to buy food, but due to inflation, they can’t buy much rice. Fighting between the Burma Army and Arakan Army (AA) has blocked vital land and water transportation routes from Paletwa town to the village, increasing the cost of goods.

Because there are three Burma Army checkpoints between Meezar and Paletwa town and AA troops in the area, goods can only be sent to Meezar from Lailinpee town, located in Matupi Township.

Tun Than, a resident of Meezar IDP camp, told Khonumthung News that WFP was unable to provide rice, cooking oil and salt so they gave them money that is supposed to last until December. “The price of rice is so high here,” he said. “I expect we will be fine for the next two to three months. But I can’t say what will happen after that.”

WFP provided each household with 30,000 kyats ($23) and 80,000 kyats ($62). In Meezar, a bag of rice costs 75,000 kyat ($58), a bag of fish paste costs 80,000 kyats and salt is 4,000 kyat ($3) per viss (1.6 kg).

There are 539 internally displaced persons from 107 families living in the camp who had to flee their homes when fighting broke out between the Burma Army and AA.

Hwi Law, the headman of Meezar village, told Khonumthung News it’s not only IDPs who are hungry. He said all the residents are struggling because the village’s rotating farms don’t produce enough food for everyone. “We haven’t run out of rice yet, but that’s only because we have been sharing what is left.”

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