As Govt Is ‘Busy With Election Matters,’ Chin State IDPs’ Needs Grow

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Civil society in Paletwa Township, southern Chin State, is reminding the government and donors that internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region are in need of warm clothes and blankets as cold season approaches.

Mai Nang Wai, who is working with the Relief and Rehabilitation Committee for Chin IDPs (RRCCI), told Khonumthung News that the IDPs fled fighting between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army in the hotter month of March, and do not have the necessary clothing to keep warm as winter approaches.

“They have told us that their children do not have warm clothes. It’s not easy to buy warm clothes in Paletwa at the movement,” Mai Nang Wai said. “Rice is the main thing transported to Paletwa. Therefore, clothes are not included in the priority list of what to transport to Paletwa. This is a big challenge for both IDPs and local people.”

The Burma Army continues to block roads between Paletwa Township in Chin State and Rakhine State, the usual transportation route for necessary supplies.

“We could not bring our warm clothes and blankets when we fled from our village. Some houses were burned down. That’s why people could not bring their property with them when they were fleeing,” Ja La Awng, an IDP in Paletwa, told Khonumthung News, adding, “Currently, nobody has come to provide warm clothes.”

According to a Chin State government spokesperson, the government has promised to send necessary items to IDPs after Sunday’s general election, but the administration does not have an immediate course of action about how it will do so.

“People from Hakha and Thantlang have provided warm clothes and blankets to IDPs. Some people donated money. We already sent these things to IDP camps, but it’s not enough,” government spokesperson and municipal minister Soe Htet said. “At the moment, the government doesn’t have any plan to send these things to them. Now the government is busy with election matters. We will discuss this issue after the election.”

There are 10,000 IDPs in Paletwa, according to state government figures, including more than 4,800 in Paletwa town, more than 3,300 in Sami town, more than 500 in Meezar village and more than 200 in Seint Sin village.

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