Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Myanmar: First UN aid convoy in 20 months reaches displaced in Kachin state

A 10-truck convoy, led by OCHA, UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP, left for Kachin state, Myanmar, on 12 June 2013, carrying food, household kits, and hygiene and sanitation supplies. Photo: OCHA

UN - 10 September 2013 – The first aid convoy in nearly two years has delivered food, medicine and other supplies to thousands of displaced people in Myanmar’s Kachin state, the United Nations relief arm today reported.

More than 4,000 people have received food, medicine and other aid from UN agencies and partner organizations in the Woi Chyai camp in the town of Laiza.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that this is the first aid convoy since December 2011.

“The UN and our partners in Myanmar are telling us that it is essential that this convoy should be the first of many to the area to help the people there,” spokesperson Jens Laerke said in Geneva, adding that there are 53,000 people in need in areas such as this which are not controlled by the Government.

OCHA says the relief items will supplement assistance delivered on a regular basis by local groups and other partners.

In January, the Government announced a unilateral ceasefire following a three-week offensive against ethnic Kachin rebels. A month later, the parties held talks in China, where they agreed to work on an overall framework to de-escalate the conflict.