In its statement on the devastating food crisis in Burma’s Chin State, the Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) today expressed concern for the Chin victims, calling for the immediate action to address the ‘military-neglected’ situation.
The statement said the continuing lack of meaningful response to the food crisis is now putting the entire population in western Burma on the brink of starvation and a famine, demanding urgency and decisive actions by the international community.
Dr. Salai Lian Hmung Sakhong, Vice Chairman of the Ethnic Nationalities Council said: “The food crisis in Chin State has reached a point where immediate action is warranted in order to prevent a human tragedy of great proportions. The international community should now act immediately on this crisis to avert a Nargis-like situation.”
More than 2000 civilians have been since late 2006 forced to flee to India and dozens of deaths reported in connection with malnutrition and infectious diseases including diarrhoea and malaria, the statement claimed. More than 100, 000 people from over 200 villages in Chin State are now facing hunger and starvation, according to a recent report by CHRO (Chin Human Rights Organisation).
Concerned about the deterioration of humanitarian conditions in the Union of Burma, ENC has on several occasions made clear its position in support of direct international humanitarian aid efforts in the most affected areas.
The ENC called on SPDC to act immediately, to allow complete and unfettered international aid access to the affected areas, and cooperate fully with aid organisations as well as provide them a conducive environment for meaningful and effective relief efforts in Chin State.
The statement by the Ethnic Nationalities Council urged the UN agencies including WFP, UN OCHA and UNDP, and international aid organisations to immediately engage in providing emergency food relief assistance in collaboration with local Chin organisations and churches. It extended an appeal to the government of India and Mizoram for further assistance to avert a humanitarian tragedy in Burma’s Chin State.
The Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) was originally established as the “Ethnic Nationalities Solidarity and Cooperation Committee” (ENSCC) in August 2001. It was entrusted with the task of fostering unity and cooperation between all ethnic nationalities in preparation for a ‘Tripartite Dialogue” and a transition to democracy.