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MYANMAR: Kachin conflict displaces tens of thousands

BANGKOK, 31 October 2012 (IRIN) - More than 75,000 people remain displaced in Myanmar's northern Kachin State following the collapse of a 17-year ceasefire between the Burmese government and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which has been fighting for greater autonomy for the past six decades.

About 54 percent of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) are in KIA-controlled areas, where access remains limited and humanitarian assistance is urgently needed, especially for those most recently made homeless, say aid officials.

Another 33,300 are in more than 100 camps in areas serviced by the government. The remainder are staying with host families.

Heath care is a major concern.

A new IRIN film, Kachin - Still on the run, looks at the plight of those affected by the conflict.

Of particular concern is the situation of some 8,000-10,000 IDPs in or around the town of Hpakan Tnow, now stranded due to ongoing clashes; several civilian casualties have been recorded.

In Kachin State, unhindered and sustained access to affected areas is essential to guarantee that all those displaced are provided with relief aid, says the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Film: Kachin - Still on the run
IRIN's latest film is set in Kachin Independence Army-controlled areas of northern Myanmar, where humanitarian access remains extremely limited and needs are high.
View film
While some local partners are reaching some locations, insecurity and logistical challenges are hindering operations. UN-led aid convoys have been on stand-by since mid-July as permission to reach IDPs has yet to be granted, while the UN in Yangon continues to call for access, including hard-to-reach KIA-controlled areas. At the same time, heavy rain has damaged roads and bridges in the mountainous region, making access to remote locations challenging.

Under the multi-sector Kachin Response Plan (July 2012), an estimated US$35.8 million is now needed to meet the humanitarian needs of up to 85,000 people between March 2012 and February 2013. To date, $22.4 million of funding has been received from various sources, including contributions from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and bilateral donors.

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Theme (s): Conflict, Governance, Refugees/IDPs,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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