Fri 10 Jan 2014
Filed under: Human Rights,Inside Burma,News,Refugees,Religion
The Rakhine State government says its budget for supporting the residents of camps holding about 130,000 people displaced by communal violence will be exhausted in a month.
State Finance Minister U Aung Kyaw Min said the government was spending about 20 million kyats a week on the camps, which shelter about 100,000 Muslims and about 30,000 Buddhists displaced by eruptions of sectarian violence that began in June 2012.
“To be honest, we don’t even have enough money left for a month,” U Aung Kyaw Min told Mizzima on January 8, adding that about 30,000 million kyats and US$3,000 remained in the budget for the camps.
“Donors help us with donations whenever we are facing a shortage,” he said.
The chair of the State cabinet’s information committee, U Hla Thein, said the Rakhine government was mainly funding the cost of health care and other necessities to the IDPs, including some food such as beans and pulses.
U Hla Thein said the United Nations aid agency, the World Food Program, distributes rice and condensed milk to the camps every two weeks and their residents also receive support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as well as non-government organizations.
The UNHCR and the Rakhine government are reported to have built 1,500 housing units, each capable of accommodating 10 family units, at camps in the state capital, Sittwe, as well as in the townships of Mrauk U, Myay Pone, Pauk Taw, Kyauk Taw, Maung Taw and Buthee Taung.
In a joint statement issued on December 30, the European Union and the embassies of Switzerland, Turkey and the United States said the 752 families living at the Taung Paw IDP camp in Myay Pone township were in a “dire humanitarian situation”.
The statement said the poor living conditions in the camp included a lack of safe drinking water, limited health care services and widespread malnutrition.