Hpruso Township Conflict Escalates Food Shortages

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Fighting continues along the Hpruso to Bawlakhe road, leaving displaced populations in these areas of Karenni State desperately in need of supplies.

“Roadblocks, poor transportation routes and the ongoing conflict have created many problems for both locals and the displaced population,” a Hpruso resident said on condition of anonymity.

They’ve been running low on essential foods like rice, cooking oil, salt and onions for two weeks, he said. While some people are growing sesame plants, they can’t sell them due to the conflict. He pointed out that if they could, it would provide them with some income.

Because of difficulties in delivering supplies to the area, inflation is very high.

“The costs of basic food products such as rice, cooking oil, fish paste, dried fish, and more have drastically increased in this area,” the man said, explaining that petroleum that used to cost about 4,000 kyat ($2) per litre now sells for as high as 6,000 kyat per litre.

Most of the population are sesame and paddy farmers and the presence of patrolling Burma army troops has prevented them from working in their farms.

In the displaced camps, residents are compelled to share their food rations with one another. If locals are unable to cultivate and harvest their paddy plants, they won’t have money or rice for the following year, which will cause a ration crisis.

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