International organisations, led by the United Nations’ refugee agency, distributed humanitarian aid on Wednesday to families who were recently displaced from their homes in Maungdaw by a surge in violence in the restive Arakanese region.
Foreign aid groups were last month denied access to internally displaced persons, or IDPs, in northwestern Arakan State amid ongoing clashes between government security forces and armed mobs. They also faced rejection by local Arakanese civil society organisations (CSOs), who branded them Rohingya sympathisers. All the families receiving aid on Wednesday were, however, Buddhist.
On 23 November, the international agencies were allowed access for the first time to Maungdaw IDPs taking shelter at a relief camp in Buthidaung. They distributed relief items including: blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen utensils, tarpaulin sheets and clothing from the UNHCR; food and nutrition supplements from the World Health Organization (WHO); and household items from Malteser International.
Buthidaung township administrator Tin Latt said local CSOs were now coordinating with the International agencies in distributing aid to the IDPs. A total of 125 persons are currently being housed at the Alodawpyae monastery in Buthidaung.