Karenni State Faces Looming Food Crisis Amid Regime Blockades

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By Kantarawaddy Times

The Military Council has been blocking roads into Karenni State, preventing food from being delivered and increasing the already dire situation for the region’s many internally displaced people (IDP).

“Humanitarian aid from the international community doesn’t flow into this area. The UN agencies cannot provide these IDPs with assistance, so I am sure that people will face more hardships in the coming months,” U Banyar, with the Karenni State Interim Executive Council, said.

Since the military coup, clashes have occurred across the state, impacting farmers’ ability to grow paddy seeds and work in their fields. Most of the seed reserves are almost depleted.

Although thousands of IDPs have sought shelter in the capital, Loikaw, where the UN’s agencies have provided them with food rations, there are over 200,000 people hiding in jungles and remote villages in townships in Karenni and southern Shan states who aren’t receiving support from these agencies.

Due to the road blockages, the cost of food products has skyrocketed, making it unaffordable for both local residents and IDPs to buy enough food. Currently, the price of rice is over $47 per bag.

In Mobye town, which serves as an entrance to Karenni State from southern Shan State, the Burma army has deployed troops along the Union highway, restricting the transportation of food and fuel to areas controlled by resistance forces and where most of the IDPs are living.

U Hpoe Zaw, who is helping IDPs in Karenni State, reported that clashes have also continued on the Taungoo – Laketho – Yar Doh road, making it extremely difficult to deliver food rations to the IDPs.

“The Burma army blocked this road three months ago. Clashes continue as more troops have been sent into the area,” he said.

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