Citizens will run out of food if an emergency shipment doesn’t reach Paletwa town by the first week of June, where conflict has blocked all land and river routes to the township since early February.
Ko Kyaw Aung, secretary of Chin IDP (internally displaced person) Support Committee (CISC) said it’s difficult for the rice to be transported by land from Sami and impossible for it to be sent over the river from Kyauktaw in Rakhine State because of the fighting between Burma Army and Arakan Army (AA).
Soe Htet, a spokesperson for the Chin State government, said there are thousands of bags of rice in Sami waiting to be sent to Paletwa but the fighting is preventing their delivery.
The spokesperson said 3,000 bags of rice were sent to the isolated town in April, but it ran out by mid-May. He says there are 5,665 bags still in Sami. “We have already reported the problem to the Union Government and the President’s Office.”
Sami is only 42 miles from Paletwa.
In recent months, an armed group attacked a World Food Programme convoy transporting 1,000 bags of rice to Paletwa.
More than 20,000 are experiencing food insecurity in Paletwa township, according to the Relief and Rehabilitation Committee for Chin IDPs.
According to CISC, there are 3,690 internally IDPs from 816 families in Paletwa town, 514 from 102 families in Meezar, and 2,948 from 693 families in Sami. In Paletwa Township, there are a total of 7,152 IDPs from 1,611 families.