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In the Month of Ramadhan, 592 Rohingya IDP Face Food Crisis

By Aung Aung

Pauktaw, Arakan State (Rohingya Vision) — 592 internally displaced people (IDP) of 148 Rohingya families at ‘Nga Chaung’ IDP Camps in Pauktaw Township are facing acute food crisis in the holy month of Ramadhan (Muslims’ fasting month).

They are desperately in need of Rice and other food rations. The food crisis is a direct consequence of almost three-year-old blockage in the concentration camps by the authorities and the Rakhine extremists. Since June 2012, the displaced Rohingyas have been rendered without access to livelihoods.

Mr. Husein in ‘Nga Chaung’ IDP Camps said “we feel ashamed that we need to depend on others’ aids. We want to work but we have no right access to work. For almost 3 years, we have been suffering this kind of starvation. Even animals have their rights but we don’t have even basic human rights, we are dying every second here.”

Unfortunately, their hope on and efforts to have aids from World Food Program (WFP) has been all in vain. The WFP has repeatedly refused them to provide any food assistances on various pretexts. It is making their plight even worse.

As the whole Rohingya community in Pauktaw Township lost their homes and properties during the states-sponsored violence against Rohingya in June 2012, they were given places in ‘Nga Chaung’ camps by UN organizations. During the crisis of Mahasen Cyclone in May 2013, most of them self-evacuated their camps in low-lying ‘Nga Chaung’ area for safer places — Sin Htet Maw, Anak Yaing, Miyurkul and even to Sittwe IDP camps– lying on the high grounds.

Later, Myanmar’s military forced them to return to their original shelter camps only to find out that their camps had already been occupied by others. They made some make-shifts by the other camps and have lived in them since then.

On the other hand, they have requested WFP many times for food aids. Every time, they were refused to be helped under various pretexts. Once a responsible officer of the WFP has responded them that their registrations as the internally displaced people (IDP) had been cancelled and his organization would not be able to help them.

The ill-fortunate displaced people often used to catch fish and crabs and sell them to Rakhines as an alternative means for survival. As the monsoon season has fallen, they can no longer get access to the rivers fearing of potential dangers. They are now almost starving.

“They made our situation like beggars’. We have no right to demand. Whenever INGOs provide, we get to eat or go with starvation. Almost 3 years over now!  

International community failed to take actions against Burmese tyrants to stop persecution against us. We appreciate international communities for providing us rice and other necessary aids. But no one seems to have power to stop Myanmar atrocious regime’s persecutions against us. Our people, especially children and ladies, are dying daily everywhere out of malnutrition, medical assistance, and persecution,” said Mr. Lalu, in a very desperate mood.

Moreover, according to the recent report (which can be read HERE), more than 1100 people are in desperate condition of starvation in Say Tha Mar IDP camps in Sittwe (Akyab). Similarly, the Rohingya people in other villages – such as in Thandawli (Saantoli), Aung Mingalar, Basfara and Anauk San Pya—are urgent need of food and other aids.

We request WFP, UNHCR, and all other INGOs to urgently come forward to provide rice for those particular Rohingyas in critical need of food. A penny spent to save a life of human being is saving the humanity and hence, it is worth spent.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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