Phyar Pon cyclone victims fear food shortage

Jun 16, 2008 (DVB), Cyclone survivors in Phyar Pon township in the Irrawaddy Delta will run out of food in a month if they don't receive sufficient supplies from the authorities, according to a National League for Democracy member.

NLD MP-elect U Min Swe, who has been working on relief efforts, came back from the area on Friday.

"Their food situation will be desperate in a month, especially for those who live in remote villages, if the state doesn't provide them with enough food because the amount of private donations has noticeably decreased these days," said U Min Swe.

The MP-elect told DVB that dried food for victims was stockpiled at local military units but soldiers did not distribute it among refugees in time and eventually the food was thrown away because it had gone rotten.

"It was sad to learn that donated onions and potatoes stored at Pakhan monastery, where the local military unit was based, were dumped into a stream as they had rotted," the MP said.

"I was informed that the soldiers didn't distribute food to refugees because they were not given orders to do so."

DVB has learned that cyclone victims in Phyar Pon have so far survived on aid distributions from other townships and from private donors.

"The authorities haven't provided people there with enough food supplies," U Min Swe said.

"They are more or less dependent on private donors. Now there are getting to be fewer donors every day, which means those in desperate needs are getting less food."

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet

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