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OCHA offers to help government on Rakhine IDPs

(Photo: AP)

By Ni Ni Myint
May 25, 2014

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has offered to work with the government in providing assistance to internally displaced persons in Rakhine State.

“We understand the government has a plan to rectify this issue and we wish for them to share that plan with us, so we might participate in solving this problem,” OCHA spokesperson Pierre Peron told Mizzima in an interview on May 22.

Mr Peron said many IDPs in Rakhine have been relying on humanitarian aid for nearly two years.

He said although most of the UN agencies and non-government organisations that suspended operations in Rakhine after rioting in Sittwe in late March were back in the state, logistical issues had meant that only 50 percent of their staff had returned.

The OCHA spokesperson said difficulties had been encountered in securing offices and accommodation and the rent on what was available was very expensive.

Mr Peron said he understood that the increase in rents since the riots was because landlords who let property to foreigners would likely be put under pressure by some Sittwe residents.

Presidential spokesperson U Ye Htut told Mizzima on May 22 that the government was developing a plan to provide assistance to the IDPs.

“An action plan is being drawn up by the Ministry of Border Affairs. They are working in collaboration with the Rakhine State government and non-governmental organisations but at this stage I cannot discuss further details,” said U Ye Htut.

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