Myanmar: Humanitarian Lifeline Cut Following Violence against Aid Agencies in Rakhine

04/16/2014
Map of Myanmar

Hundreds of thousands of people are finding it difficult to access basic services such as health care following the emergency relocation of up to 300 aid workers from Myanmar’s Rakhine State. More than 1,000 humanitarian staff have been forced to stop working following an outbreak of violence in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine, on 26 and 27 March.

Security services were unable to stop angry mobs from severely damaging 33 offices, living quarters and warehouses of NGOs and UN agencies. The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Myanmar, Renata Dessallien, called the violence “an attack on the entire humanitarian response in Rakhine State.”

Aid workers are unable to access isolated villages and camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), but they are maintaining daily contact with these communities. “We are being told that the situation is becoming increasingly desperate,” said Pierre Peron from OCHA’s Myanmar office.

This is the peak of the dry season and water levels are running critically low in some places. With limited services available, people with life-threatening medical conditions face the risk of not being taken to hospital. The Government has increased efforts to fill the gap through the Ministry of Health and local authorities, but these efforts still fall short of covering all essential needs.

The full article continues at http://www.unocha.org/top-stories/all-stories/myanmar-humanitarian-lifeline-cut-following-violence-against-aid-agencies on OCHA’s website.