UN Official – Refugees Camps in Western Burma
The United Nations humanitarian affairs chief says a Rohingya Muslim refugee camp in Burma for victims of recent inter-communal violence is “shockingly overcrowded.” Valerie Amos, head of humanitarian affairs for the United Nations, has called on the international community to press Burma to address issues of citizenship for the stateless Rohingya and move forward on reconciliation efforts within the community.
Amos speaking to reporters Saturday at the end of a four-day official visit to Burma, says conditions in camps housing victims of inter-communal violence are among the worst she has witnessed in terms of overcrowding and sanitation.
Amos travelled to eight camps in Western Rakhine State, where clashes and arson this year left almost 200 dead and around 115,000 displaced. She says while conditions varied, the Myebon camp was “particularly shocking”.
“The people are very crowded. Men, women, children are inside these tents that basically are for smaller numbers,” said Amos. “Sanitation is very, very poor indeed. Water for people; getting access to water, for bathing for cooking and so on is terrible. There is no school and the children cannot go to school anywhere else.”
Donors and countries need to continue to put pressure on the government of Myanmar to sort out the issue of citizenship and at the same time to begin the process of reconciliation,” Amos added.
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