Tuesday, October 2, 2012

International groups failing Kachin aid effort: Kwat

Tuesday, 02 October 2012 13:15 Mizzima News    

International donors have failed to respond to calls for humanitarian aid for some 60,000 Kachin villagers displaced along the Burma-China border since renewed conflict broke out in northern Burma over a year ago, according to data compiled by the Kachin Women’s Association (Kwat).

Ethnic Kachin children play at the Nhkawng Pa Internally Displaced People's camp in Moe Mauk Township near Laiza, home of the ethnic Kachin rebels' headquarters. As fighting rages between Burma's army and Kachin rebels, tens of thousands of displaced people have found themselves trapped between a conflict on one side and an unsympathetic China on the other. Photo: AFP

A brief report, “From persecution to deprivation,” documents how nearly 60,000 people sheltering in Kachin-controlled areas have received only 4 per cent of their basic food needs from international aid groups,
including the UN, said Kwat.

About 100,000 people have been displaced in total since the Burmese government broke a 17-year cease-fire with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in June 2011, said the group.

It said over US$ 2 million a month is needed to feed the displaced in KIA-controlled areas, who have been supported almost entirely by private donations from local and overseas groups, a burden which is becoming increasingly untenable.

Reliable mechanisms exist to provide aid through local community-based groups, but these have been shunned by most international donors, who prefer to work with the government, said Kwat.

The humanitarian situation has worsened due to ongoing Burmese military offensives and abuses, which have caused fresh displacement in the past month, including about 10,000 newly displaced people in the jade-mining area of Hpakant, said the report.

Kwat said there has also been heavy shelling near the Kachin resistance headquarters at Laiza on the China border, endangering thousands of displaced civilians.

It called for an immediate end to military offensives against the Kachin and urged international donors to coordinate a large-scale relief effort to address the needs of the displaced Kachin along the China-Burma border.

The Kachin Women’s Association Thailand is a nonprofit organization working on behalf of Kachin women.

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