The United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) distributed sacks of rice to Kachin Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who fled to Burmese government-controlled areas in August, said sources from the WFP office in Kachin State, Northern Burma.
It was the first time the UN food agency supported over 5,276 Kachin IDPs in 15 camps in the towns of Myitkyina and Waingmaw, Kachin State government sources said.
The WFP delivered the food aid after Lajawn Ngan Seng, Chief Minister of Kachin State Government, made a request to the agency, sources close to the Chief Minister added.
In the two towns, IDPs are sheltered in the compounds of Kachin Churches, according to local churches.
The WFP’s rice was also distributed to the registered IDPs who are staying in rented houses in the two towns, said IDP relief workers.
According to the Myitkyina Emergency Relief Team (MERT), around 10,000 IDPs have arrived in four government-controlled towns in Kachin State: Myitkyina, Waingmaw, Manmaw (Bhamo) and N’mawk (Momauk).
The MERT was formed to help Kachin IDPs in June by local NGOs and Kachin Churches, like the Metta Development Foundation, Karuna Foundation, Kachin Baptist Convention and individual donors.
Salang Kaba Doi Pyi Sa, head of IDPs and the Refugee Relief Committee under the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), located in its Laiza headquarters, said the committee listed 18,069 IDPs in the whole KIO-controlled areas, mostly in Laiza, as of August 25.
There are also about 10,000 unregistered IDPs in Hkawnglanghpu Township, Sumprabum Township and N’Jang Yang Township, in Northern Kachin State, but they do not receive any aid from relief organizations, said La Rip, Coordinator-1 of the Relief Action Network for IDP and Refugee (RANIR), based in Laiza.
IDPs in KIO-controlled areas do not receive any aid from the UN aid agencies like WFP and Rangoon-based UNOCHA but from local NGOs, the KIO and Kachin churches as well as overseas Kachin communities, said La Rip.
There has been continued fighting between the KIA and Burma Army for over three months, causing more refugees to flee to both refugee camps in the government and KIO controlled areas, said relief teams in both sides.