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Aid still not getting to Kachin State, say NGOs

More than half of the 83,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Kachin State are unreachable by international aid workers as they are in areas controlled by rebel forces—areas that are deemed unsafe by the government—according to a report by Irin.

Conditions are worsening in temporary IDPs camp in Kachin State. [Photo:]“The international NGOs can get into the government-controlled area very easily, but it is difficult to get to the China border where most of the IDP camps are located and in need of the most [assistance],” explained Hkalam Samson, head of local NGO Kachin Baptist Convention.

Conditions in some camps are described as critical with overcrowding leading to a lack of sanitary latrines, clean drinking water and food.

Since the collapse of a 17-year peace treaty between the KIO and the Myanmar government in June 2011, the total number of casualties is unknown, but the government said in January that 35 soldiers had been killed and 190 injured in a series of ambushes.

Humanitarian aid to the region has notoriously been blocked by the government until recently when the UN announced that a 10-vehicle convoy was permitted to travel to the Hpakant area to bring shelter, blankets, mosquito nets, cooking sets, clothes and sanitary items to more than 2,000 refugees between February 17 and 21.

The visit was the first to the area since January 2012 by the UN.

A planned meeting for Saturday in Myitkyina between the KIO and the Myanmar government’s Peace Making Work Committee was postponed until later in the month because the international observers who were invited by the KIO are unable to attend, according to the Myanmar Peace Center (MPC).

Related issues:
  1. Kachin human rights issues must be addressed
  2. Kachin peace talks postponed until late April
Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 April 2013 12:19 )