IDPs at Thai-Karenni Border Face Food Shortages

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Kantarawaddy Times

IDP camps on the Thai-Karenni border are facing worsening food shortages, with families struggling to obtain enough food due to dwindling supplies, according to locals.

The IDPs rely heavily on donations for their sustenance. Restrictions imposed by Thai authorities on food deliveries have limited the number of supplies reaching the IDP camps. The camp committee, responsible for distributing rations, is finding it difficult to provide adequate support to all IDP families.

Khu Robert, the camp committee’s secretary, explains the severity of the situation: “Things are not good. Rice deliveries are no longer as frequent as before. Last year, we received around 600 bags of rice per month, delivered in two or three batches. Now, with only 10 trucks, we only receive 200-300 bags, which last for just half a month. The limitations imposed on truck permits by Thai authorities have significantly impacted the amount of food reaching the camps.”

An IDP woman expressed that in previous years, families with more members received additional support like dried noodles and canned fish.

“We have a large family, and the 3 kilos of rice per person are not enough. It only lasts for about a week. In the past, we received Mama noodles and canned fish once or twice a month, which was helpful. Now, they only provide rice, oil, and beans—these three items. They don’t provide chilies anymore.”

The current camp offers no income-generating opportunities for the IDPs since they are not able to farm for self-sufficiency. Consequently, some families are forced to borrow rice from those who have a surplus.

“Their difficulty lies in the contrast with the situation within the state. Inside the state, IDPs can engage in farming activities like cultivating chilies; however, IDPs along the Thai Myanmar border are unable to engage in farming activities for self-sufficiency due to water scarcity and land limitations. This lack of additional income sources further compounds their vulnerability and dependence on external aid.” Khu Robert added.

The camp currently houses over 500 households, with a total population of 3,208 individuals.

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