Over 7,000 IDPs at Mae Tha Wor facing food shortage

Over 7,000 internally displaced persons who fled from Mae Tha Wor area, Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State, due to the outbreaks of fighting in September, 2016, are facing the food shortages.

The displaced people fled from Mae Tha Wor area about five months ago, as a result of the fighting in the area between a splinter group of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), a joint force of Tatmadaw and its allied Border Guard Force (BGF).

Although the displaced villagers want to return home due to the unstable situation, they feared going back. Some who went back to their homes to check their plantations were also injured from landmine blast.

“When they got here at first, there were a lot of donors. But now it has been over 4 months already – not just one week, 15 days or 3 months. So, at first, there were lots of donors but now not many,” said Naw Tin Hla, head of Rations for Displaced Persons at displacement camps in Myaing Gyi Ngu.

The displaced people at Myaing Gyi Ngu camp have depended on the rations provided by private donors, and for their meals, they cooked together and shared the foods.

“At our Kalawde [displacement] camp, we also have difficulties with rations. So, now because hundreds of refugees from Myaing Gyi Ngu area have moved to our area, we have difficulties with ration management. The government stated that they [displaced villagers] already returned to their villages. But, so far, they are afraid to go back. Instead, they have now move to our place,” said Saw Moe She, who helped managing at Kalawde camp, in ParPon Township.

At the moment, more than 7000 IDPs are taking shelter at three camps in Myaing Gyi Ngu, Nawta-Hteetaykhee and Kalawde, according to a social rescue group assisting the displaced people at the camps.

The Mae Tha Wor area, where the fighting broke out, is located in east and south of [proposed] Hatgyi Dam project site, and the fighting was connected to the dam project, according to Karen Rivers Watch in September, 2016.

Translated by Aong Jaeneh