Villagers Facing Malnutrition in IDP Camps in Southern Chin State

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Seniors and children over the age of four-years-old are suffering from malnutrition because they’re not given the same nutritional support as others, an organization working in the internally displaced persons (IDPS) camps in Sami town, located in southern Chin State, told Khonumthung News.

“I think pregnant women and children under the age of five are getting enough nutrition because they rarely get sick,” said Zaw Li Aung, director of People’s Hope. Women are giving birth without complications. During breastfeeding, they also receive nutritional powder from the government. But the other IDPs only get rice, yellow beans, cooking oil and salt, Zaw Li Aung said. “They can’t eat meat and other extra nutritional foods.”

The IDPs fled from their villages during Burma Army offenses or fighting with the Arakan Army.

At least three elderly people died of malnutrition and disease in the five IDP camps around Sami this year, where an estimated 500 people are over the age of 59.

“Sometimes IDPs eat gruel rather than whole rice,” Pyi Su, chair of Sami’s Financial Assistance Committee for IDPs told Khonumthung News. They don’t have the money to buy nutritional food, and that’s why children and seniors are malnourished.

There are about 3,400 IDPs in Sami camps. About 450 are children under five years of age and 83 mothers are breastfeeding.

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