- WHY CARE ABOUT BURMA?
- WHO WE ARE
Adapted from an article in the Chinland Guardian
A recently-released U.N. report warns that the food security condition in parts of Northern Burma / Myanmar’s Chin State is of great concern due to crop failures and an extreme reduction of yield in 2011.
The January 2012 report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) said the situation in southern areas of Burma's poorest state is worse than previous years and even more serious than during the rat infestation of 2008/9, which further threatened the health and welfare of tens of thousands of villagers already living in poverty.
Local villagers are running out of food stocks early this year and the next harvest will be available only in September. "Available data indicates that severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and global acute malnutrition (GAM) levels are above emergency thresholds in southern areas of the State,” according to UN-OCHA.
In 2010-2011, Community Partners International supported the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) in its distribution relief assistance to about 60 villages in the most effected areas in southern Chin State.
Since late 2006, Chin State has been plagued by a devastating food shortage following a bamboo flowering phenomenon called mautam that triggered an explosion in the rat population, resulting in the destruction of crops.
In its report in July 2008, CHRO estimated from field surveys that as many as 200 villages with no less than 100,000 people were directly affected by acute food shortages caused by mautam.
"We have been monitoring the situation closely since 2008 and the latest UN report just confirms what we have been saying all along. Immediate action should now be taken to address this crisis," says Salai Bawi Lian Mang, Executive Director of CHRO.
CHRO also notes that the various UN reports on poverty in Chin State do not take into account the human rights dimension to the crisis. It argues human rights violations against the Chin people, including forced labor and extortion, exacerbate poverty and undermine people's livelihood.
"Human rights violations need to stop in order to effectively address the issue of poverty in Chin State," adds Salai Bawi Lian Mang.