The United Nations last week launched an urgent appeal for more than US$115 million to provide humanitarian assistance to up to 115,000 people displaced by violence in Rakhine State.
“We have just completed the launch of the Revised Response Plan to provide assistance to all those affected by the recent intercommunal violence in Rakhine. The plan is intended to meet the needs of all those who need humanitarian assistance without making any distinction between the communities,” Mr Ashok Nigam, UN resident representative and humanitarian coordinator, said at a press conference in Yangon on Wednesday, November 21.
“A total of US$67.6 million is currently needed to continue implementing critical assistance for 115,000 people for one year from July 2012 through June 2013, and a further $47.8 million is urgently required to address the funding gap,” said Mr Ashok.
Since June, the government has led the response in providing food, shelter, household items and medical supplies to internally displaced people across the state, and requested the UN to mobilise humanitarian partners’ support.
Both international and local NGOs have also provided assistance.
“We are very encouraged by the statement that [Border Affairs] Minister U Thein Htay has made today and the government’s very positive and constructive approach. We are very pleased to work with the government in providing support along with our partners,” he added.
Minister for Border Affairs Lieutenant General Thein Htay said more humanitarian aid was urgently needed for displaced people in Rakhine.
“Due to the violence in June, there are about 75,000 displaced people mainly from Sittwe and Maungdaw townships. We need more aid for their daily needs,” said Lt Gen Thein Htay.
“We are asking donor countries for more funds. Fresh violence broke out in October, resulting in the displacement of an additional 36.000 people,” he said.
U Thein Htay said about 29,000 people were also still homeless because of flooding and landslides in 2010, and about 260,000 people were displaced by Cyclone Giri in October of that year.