The Myanmar Times

Hardship for refugees in Shan State after aid cut

- CHAN THAR chanthar@mmtimes.com

Refugee camps in Shan State near the Thai border facing ration cuts should immediatel­y inform the national government about their woes, said a government official.

REFUGEE camps in the Shan State near the Thai border facing ration cuts should immediatel­y inform the national government about their plight and request aid, a senior government official said Wednesday, amid reports refugees in the area suffered aid cuts.

The Shan State Refugee Committee said there are around 300,000 people from over 1400 Shan villages in the whole of the state who fled their homes, between 1996 and 1998, due to clashes between government forces and the armed ethnic group Shan State Army, who sought refuge in these camps.

There are six refugee camps in the Thai-Myanmar border. These are Loi Lam, Loi Sarm Sip, Loi Kaw Wan, Loi Tai Leng, Koung Jor, Gawng Mung Mong – which are within Tachileik district, Mine Hsat district and Linkhae district in eastern Shan State.

There are more than 6200 refugees sheltering in these camps, including 1000 students.

U Zaw Htay, the Director General from State Counsellor’s Office urged them to report their conditions to the national government and to request aid.

He said that State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has laid out the policy that government will pay for every expense related with food, education, and healthcare of these displaced people.

“Some non-government organizati­ons (NGOs) are helping but if these NGOs cut the supply and there was a shortage, report to the government. National Reconcilia­tion and Peace Centre (NRPC) will lend a hand,” said U Zaw Htay.

“Those who manage the camps must tell us that there are no donors or the donations are no longer sufficient,” he said. “The NRPC has regular meetings. State Counsellor, the Tatmadaw and the Hluttaw also attend these meetings. The Peace Commission also attends these meetings. After they consider the request, the decisions are set. Then we have to follow and implement their decisions.”

Refugees in IDP refugee camps at Thailand border are not listed in United Nation’s High Commission­er for Refugees (UNHCR) and they are not recognized by Thailand government, said Sai Pang, who is managing the Loi Kaw Wan refugee camp.

In September, aid agencies stop providing provisions for the refugees, so they had difficulti­es sourcing their food and clothing, he told The Myanmar Times.

“It has been nearly one month since the Thai Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) cut the provisions. So, people from refugee camp are facing difficulti­es in all matters – food, health and education,” Sai Pang said. “No job to work and no food to eat. So, people are downhearte­d and domestic problems have escalated.”

Sai Pang added that since that day, at least 30 students from each camp dropped out the schools.

“We have been been getting education and health assistance so students cannot go to their classrooms. Everybody is struggling. We can no longer deal with it,” he said.

 ?? Photo: Shan Human Rights Foundation ?? The State Counsellor’s Office urged Shan refugee camps to report their aid needs.
Photo: Shan Human Rights Foundation The State Counsellor’s Office urged Shan refugee camps to report their aid needs.

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