Urgent needs in Kachin State
REACTION As the conflict in Kachin State wears on, the number of displaced people remains near 70,000 with initial resources depleting rapidly across the camps. SOLIDARITES INTERNATIONAL, from Southern Kachin, is pleading with other international actors for increased commitment & funding to respond to the displaced people’s needs.
‘’Host families, exhausted local NGOs and churches, continue to bear the burden of the increased numbers of people who fled their villages due to fighting since last June. Local resources, private donations and sporadic international funds are no longer sufficient to provide for such a sustained presence in the camps, churches, or host families, says Matthew Gray, our head of mission. The rainy season is already upon some areas of Kachin and with it comes increased needs in terms of shelter, food and access to water, hygiene and sanitation. The needs of the people have changed now with the shift from facing the cold to dealing with the rain and depleted resources in the camps.’’ SOLIDARITES INTERNATIONAL and a few other NGOs have managed to gain access from the government to carry out relief work during the crisis. This is now emboldened with UNOCHA’s recent negotiated access for both UN and INGOs to work in all areas of Kachin except for the Laiza area. “Political access was originally a very real and perceived issue, yet with the genuine cooperation of the government and other key actors over the past few months, the only remaining issues are related to funding or logistical challenges against the elements.”