More Than 30 Children Died Due To Food Crisis In Chin State
At least 31 children have died due to the ongoing ‘government-ignored’ severe food crisis in Chin State, Burma, a statement by Chin National Council on Tuesday revealed.
The statement said the current situation will even get worse if no immediate aids are addressed and delivered, accusing Burma’s military dictatorship of not only ‘shrugging off’ but also making the situation worse by continuing various human rights violations, ruthless exploitation of people and resources, religious persecutions and systematic repressions against the Chin people.
The number of children dying from famine-related malnutrition and diarrhea has increased to 44 and about 2,000 Chin victims have fled to India, Khonumthung News said.
At least 200 Chin villages along the Burma, India and Bangladesh border with an estimated 100,000 Chin people are directly affected, facing starvation, according to a recent report by Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO).
In an attempt to response to the rat-infested famine situation in Chin State, Rangon-based CAD (Country Agency for Rural Development) is set to have a second meeting with international organisations including WFP (World Food Programme), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), CARE, GRET (Groupe d’échange et de recherche technologiques), KMSS (Karuna Myanmar Social Services) and DFID (UK Department for International Development) on 25 August.
Some individuals are concerned that it is not time for having a series of meetings but for taking immediate yet effective actions.
“Cross border initiative to support the victim is also in progress despite some differences among the groups that are engaged. The need is too much and the challenges are immense. We all must response collectively so that it will be effective,” said a prominent Chin political figure, Victor Biak Lian, who met the government officials and NGOs in the UK last June, 2008.
“UN agencies and WFP are now engaged which is a big step forward. And the government even acknowledge the problem of food crisis in Chin State,” added Victor Biak Lian.
A team of famous Chin and Mizo singers are to perform at a series of fundraising ‘Chin Famine Live Aid Concert’ scheduled to take place in Thailand,Singapore and Malaysia in August and September. The band includes Zam Nu, Sung Tin Par, Mimi Lalzamliani, Malsawmtluangi and San Pi.
Rat-related famine has been said to be spreading into Tamu, Kalay township in Sagaing division where crop-destroying rats and insects wer eating up crops in the fields, recent reports said.
Chin Humanitarian and Relief Committee (CHRC), consisting of 16 members, was established by Chin Naitonal Council on 18 August with the aims of assisting with relief items to the starving people, establishing social security and providing services, uplifting of the social life of Chin people and assisting in various kinds of development in the state.
The Chin National Council called on Chin communities worldwide, groups, individuals and the international donors to work together with the CHRC for implementation of famine relief, developments and social upliftment of the victims of famine in Chin State.
Van Biak Thang
23 August, 2008