World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Calls On Myanmar's Leaders to Support Humanitarian Effort

Top UN Relief Official Calls On Myanmar's Leaders to Support Humanitarian Efforts

New York, Dec 5 2012 - On a visit to a Myanmar state wracked by inter-communal violence, the top United Nations relief official today called on the country's leaders to support UN and other humanitarian efforts in the region.

"The trust is not there," the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, said after touring several communities across Rakhine state on Myanmar's west coast.

"We need the political leaders in Myanmar to support the important humanitarian work being done by the United Nations and our partners," she added, as she spoke of the need for local leaders to "speak out and explain that they have asked us to be here to help."

"Our job is to try to help everyone in need," Ms. Amos stated, according to a press release from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims broke out in the north of the state in June, leading the Government to declare a state of emergency there. That bout of violence reportedly left at least a dozen civilians dead and hundreds of homes destroyed, while internally displacing some 75,000 people.

Since then, at least 89 people were killed and 36,000 displaced in the wake of a renewed upsurge in violence, beginning in late September, which also left more than 5,300 houses and religious buildings destroyed, according to UN estimates.

"Tensions between the communities are still running very high," said Ms. Amos, who travelled with the Myanmar Minister of Border Affairs, Lieutenant General Thein Htay, to Myebon, Pauktaw and Maungdaw, and also to a series of camps outside Sittwe.

"I was shocked to see so many soldiers everywhere keeping communities away from each other," she added.

Ms. Amos said people of both communities consistently gave her the same message: that they were living in fear and wanted to return to living a normal life.

"There is an urgent need for reconciliation," said Ms. Amos.

Currently, some 115,000 people are living in camps or with host families across Rakhine state, according OCHA.

While Ms. Amos highlighted that security threats to humanitarian workers posed a major challenge to providing assistance, OCHA added that coordination between the Government and UN agencies had improved in the camps outside Sittwe, where more than 70,000 people are living. "The level of assistance provided to people in the different camps varies significantly," the Office said.

Ms. Amos spoke of her concern over camp conditions, noting for example that the situation in Myebon is "dire."

"I saw thousands of people in overcrowded, sub-standard shelter with poor sanitation," she said. "They don't have jobs, children are not in school and they can't leave the camp because their movement is restricted."

Ms. Amos said other challenges included a lack of partners on the ground, while inadequate funding was limiting the capacity to respond.

Some $41 million of the $68 million needed to help the 115,000 displaced people during the next nine months remains outstanding, according to OCHA, citing revised figures from the Rakhine Response Plan put together by the humanitarian community in Myanmar.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

One Year On: WWF Fails To Act Against Abuse Of ‘Pygmies'

Baka 'Pygmies' have faced harassment, beatings and torture by anti-poaching squads supported and funded by WWF. Conservation giant World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has failed to take action against the abuse of Baka “Pygmies” and their neighbors ... More>>

Cyclone Pam Evacuation Centers Home To New-Born

UNFPA Pacific, Port Vila, Vanuatu (March 25, 2015) - As her family settled into one of the classrooms at Freswota Primary School in Cyclone Pam-stricken Port Vila, in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, Meri Yalu was more troubled by an impending ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news