SAC Blockade Aggravates Crisis for Displaced in Karenni State

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By Kantarawaddy Times

The obstruction of food and medical supplies by the State Administration Council (SAC) is exacerbating a growing crisis in Karenni State, where conflict has displaced over half of the population.

“Even if people have money, they still cannot buy food in Karenni state because of the SAC’s blockage. This has led to a significant surge in food prices across Karenni State,” stated U Banyar, the second secretary of the Karenni State Interim Executive Council (IEC), established by opposition forces based in the state last June.

An anonymous individual displaced by the conflict in Hpruso Township highlighted the soaring inflation in Karenni State, noting that a bag of rice, once priced at 90,000 kyat ($43), now costs 150,000 kyat.

While the situation remains dire for displaced civilians grappling with food shortages in the state’s numerous camps, Banyar emphasized that no-one is starving yet. Despite facing numerous obstacles such as regime checkpoints and logistical challenges accessing remote camps during the wet season, local civil society groups are doing their best to sustain the burgeoning displaced population.

Demoso Township hosts the largest population of displaced individuals in Karenni State, but the number of donors has dwindled, as revealed by an affected woman who wished to remain anonymous. “Some donors are prioritizing food rations for the smaller camps,” she noted. In her camp, housing nearly 5,000 people, borrowing rations from other areas has become a necessity.

Banyar mentioned that some people hesitate to seek assistance when facing food shortages. “They shouldn’t be shy: If they need emergency aid, they can ask for it.”

Volunteer teams report that over 250,000 people are currently displaced in Karenni State, as well as in Pekon Township in southern Shan State.

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