A relief agency was formed to help Kachin IDPs who are critical need of aid on Thursday, July 7, at the Laiza headquarters of the Kachin Independence Organization, near the China border in Northern Burma, according to a statement released by the agency.
The Relief Action Network for IDP (Internally Displaced Person) and Refugee (RANIR), is made up of members from the KIO, Kachin Churches and non-governmental organizations. Its mandate is to take over relief operations, according to the statement.
La Rip, Coordinator 1 of the relief group told the Thailand-based Kachin News Group, “RANIR was formed because the uncertainty of an end to the civil war between the KIO and central Burmese government and the critical state of the living conditions of IDPs in the KIO camps.”
A total of 15,791 IDPs have arrived in 12 temporary camps near the China border, including six in Laiza, according to the list updated on July 6 by the IDP and Refugee Relief Committee of the KIO, which managed IDP issues previously.
China, the main ally of the military-controlled government of Burma, has so far refused to accept Kachin IDPs and open refugee camps in its territory.
More and more Kachin people from the war zones and government-controlled areas are fleeing to the KIO controlled areas since government troops began an offensive against the KIO, which is calling for peaceful dialogue to establish self-determination in Kachin State.
During the rainy season, people have had to flee to KIO IDP camps, abandoning their houses, property, livestock and paddy fields to avoid the threat of interrogation, rape, torture and being forced to work as porters by government troops.
Currently, IDPs are supported with food and shelter by the KIO, while basic medicine and mosquito nets are provided by the London-based Health Unlimited (HU), which is based on the border.
La Rip said, without further aid from the international community, emergency relief to the IDPs will be needed after next a couple weeks. Food, proper shelters, healthcare and accessibility to education are also urgently needed for IDPs.
In temporary refugee camps in Laiza, masses of people have to stay in one hall, causing them to be at risk for infectious diseases like malaria, typhoid, dengue, diarrhea and dysentery, he added.
La Rip said, “It’s certain the IDPs cannot be helped completely by the KIO and HU alone, in the long-term. The international refugee aid will be essential soon.”
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