UN begins airlifting tents for Myanmar displaced

The UN's refugee agency said Friday it had begun airlifting tents to provide shelter for thousands of people displaced by sectarian unrest in Myanmar's western Rakhine State.

"The plane that left Dubai today (Friday) is the first of two planned flights for this weekend," UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters in Geneva.

In total, he said, the UNHCR would provide 3,500 family-sized tents to house 17,500 displaced people.

"The shelter needs are immense," he said, pointing out that the renewed violence in late October had brought the number of people internally displaced in the area to around 115,000.

"The displaced population is in urgent need of a safe place to stay," Edwards said.

More than 100,000 people have been displaced and about 180 killed since clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims erupted in June, followed by another outbreak of violence in October.

Most of the displaced are stateless Rohingya, considered by the UN to be among the most persecuted minorities in the world. They are crammed into makeshift camps.

The international community has urged Myanmar, which does not recognise the Rohingya as citizens, to address the group's plight and the world's top Islamic umbrella group has described their treatment as a "genocide".

The UNHCR stressed that the existing camps were overcrowded, while host families who had taken in people fleeing the violence were struggling even to support themselves.

"Some people are living on the sites of their burnt-out homes while others are sleeping on boats or taking refuge on islets," Edwards said.

The agency said it had already distributed more than 500 tents from its stocks inside the country since the violence broke out in June, as well as 700 tents donated by the Korea International Cooperation Agency.

It had also already handed out aid to more than 50,000 displaced people in the region, including blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, clothing and hygiene materials, Edwards said.

However, another 25,000 relief kits were urgently needed, he said, adding that the UNHCR and other agencies needed $24.35 million (18.9 million euros) to meet the needs for emergency shelter, non-food relief items, camp management and security until next June.

The UNHCR was also deeply concerned about "increased restrictions on movement (since June), which is affecting people's livelihoods and food security."

"Access to basic services has also been difficult, he said, cautioning that "if not addressed, these problems could trigger further displacement."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF
    OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF

    The Philippine government is asking the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to finally complete the tripartite review process of the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The review – snagged  for several years as government had its hands full with the peace process with rival faction Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – tackles how the 1996 peace pact with the MNLF has been implemented and centers on the three remaining …

  • Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe
    Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe

    Eight of the resource persons ordered arrested by the Senate finally attended the 21st public hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee into the alleged anomalies involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, but the proceedings turned out to be a review of matters previously presented. For over three hours, the subcommittee heard presentations regarding the alleged hidden assets of Binay and the issue regarding the supposed P200 million in kickbacks he received from a deal between the Boy …

  • DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe
    DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) is wrapping up its investigation into the “massacre” of 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A joint team of prosecutors and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) investigators is about to finish the second part,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has told congressmen. She was responding to questions raised by former senior police officer and now Rep. Samuel Pagdilao of party-list …

  • APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism
    APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism

    BALANGA CITY, Bataan – More than 2,000 delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and international media outfits are expected to enjoy the splendid coastline of Bagac town, which faces the West Philippine Sea, as they converge for a workshop in this province next month. …

  • DOST opens P54-M research facility
    DOST opens P54-M research facility

    A P54-million research and development facility of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was recently opened in Bicutan, Taguig for scientists and researchers to develop technology and techniques to allow Filipino fashion and clothing designers and manufacturers to produce more mainstream products from local, tropical fabrics like piña, banana and abaca. Science Secretary Mario Montejo said the Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles (ICYT) is the DOST’s flagship effort at reviving …

  • DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights
    DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights

    Philippine embassy officials in Doha have raised their concern with Qatari authorities over coercion and human rights violations in the alleged forcing of three Filipino workers convicted of spying to provide information and confess to the crime. Speaking to reporters, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose yesterday said the embassy has raised the matter during several high-level meetings with Qatari officials and the national human rights committee in Qatar. “Our embassy …

  • US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl
    US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday that Washington’s pledge to defend the Pacific nation remains “ironclad” and called for an end to land reclamation in the South China Sea, officials said. In talks in Hawaii with Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine secretary of national defense, the Pentagon chief “reaffirmed” the strong ties between the two countries and discussed territorial disputes in the contested waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has been …

  • ‘Conflict to affect economic growth, stability in SEA’
    ‘Conflict to affect economic growth, stability in SEA’

    Conflict in the South China Sea can affect economic growth and stability in Southeast Asia, New Zealand warned yesterday, amid China’s aggressive reclamation activities in disputed waters. New Zealand is marking its 40 th year of diplomatic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and hopes to intensify trade and other linkages with the 10-member grouping. ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have overlapping territorial claims with China over the Spratly …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options