IDPs Running Out of Food in Paletwa

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Internally displaced persons (IDPs) staying in camps in Paletwa town in southern Chin State say their current food supplies will only last a matter of days.

The IDPs fled clashes between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army. The Chin State government, World Food Programme, and various civil society organizations have been providing them with food assistance.

“The quota of rations will run out on September 20, so they are going to have difficulties,” Zarni, a volunteer helping the IDPs, told Khonumtung News. “We tried to buy rice with donated money. Here in Paletwa, the price of a bag of rice is 55,000-60,000 kyat (up to US$45). Our donated funds are not enough [to buy enough rice at this price].”

Ja La Awng, an IDP who is living in Paletwa’s football stadium, said that the aid provided by the government has not been enough to meet their basic needs.

“The government has provided assistance to us. For bigger families, assistance is not enough. They can not afford to buy extra rice because they don’t have any money. Therefore, they have many difficulties,” Ja La Awng told Khonumthung News.

The roads between southern Chin State and Rakhine State have been closed due to ongoing instability in the region, and to control the spread of COVID-19. The roadblocks have meant that rice and other basic food products are not being brought into Paletwa.

“We have some difficulties in solving this. The problem is that all roads are closed. We have donated funds, so we plan to buy rice and provide rice rations for two to three days,” Zarni told said.

The Relief and Rehabilitation Committee for Chin IDPs has reported that there are more than 4,800 IDPs in different camps in downtown Paletwa, more than 2,900 IDPs in Sami town, more than 2,000 IDP in Meezar village, and nearly 200 IDPs in Seint Sin village.

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