By Kantarawaddy Times
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
The Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC) is asking the international community to provide humanitarian assistance for approximately 100,000 civilians who have been displaced by military offenses in Karenni State since May.
A man working with KSCC and Humanitarian Focal said that both internally displaced persons (IDPs) and those who are not uprooted by conflict are facing food insecurity. According to its recent survey, the situation will get drastically worse if no help arrives in the next few months.
In addition to facing conflict, IDPs are at severe risk during Burma’s third wave. Yet, there is little medicine or personal protective equipment (PPE) to safeguard them or the other residents of Karenni State from the pathogen that is rapidly spreading across the country. Last month, at least 6,000 died from COVID-19 in Burma.
According to Maw Pray Myar, secretary 2 of Karenni Women Organization, the lockdowns to prevent outbreaks make it difficult to buy basic medicine for the IDP camps in Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) controlled territory along the Thai border, where about 1,000 villagers are taking refuge.
“When the children suffer from a cough, a cold or get sick (with other illnesses) there is no medicine for them. Everyone needs to be healthy. With COVID-19 spreading, we are concerned about the IDPs.”
A KNPP Health and Education officer told Kantarawaddy Times they don’t have any medicine to treat patients for tuberculosis, asthma and cancer, and the Thai government won’t allow them to transfer them to a hospital in Thailand. “There have been no donors who have come here to give them medicine.”
Poe Mae, who moved to an IDP camp in the area to flee the fighting, told Kantarawaddy Times she couldn’t get any medicine for her young children after they developed a nasty cough.
According to Maw Pray Myar, in one camp, there are 10 pregnant women, however, they don’t have any medical equipment to examine them or medicine to give them.
The KSCC official said most of the donors sending money to help the IDPs are Karenni who have resettled to a third country.
“Eighty-five percent of the financial assistance is coming from Karenni nationalities who are living abroad. Other Burmese people living abroad are also assisting the IDPs,” the official explained.
KSCC hopes the UN agencies will help with food, medicine, PPEs and vaccines for IDPs and other citizens, explaining it can donated through the Karenni civil society organisations.
Some villagers affected by the conflict have returned to their homes, but the majority have not, and with ongoing BA offensives, more people are forced to flee in the middle of the rainy season amid the COVID-19 outbreak. According to KSCC, there are 15,000 new IDPs northeast of Loikaw Township and south of Hpruso Township.