Government, UN, and Care Myanmar Rebuild Houses Damaged in Recent Unrest

Sittwe: The Burmese government, UN, and Care Myanmar are reportedly rebuilding the houses that were damaged in arson attacks during the recent unrest in Maungdaw Township in Arakan State.

An official with the district administration in Maungdaw told Narinjara, on condition of anonymity, that the three would rebuild a total of 552 houses owned by Arakanese that were damaged in the arson attacks during the recent unrest in Maungdaw Township.

“The Ministry of Border Affairs is said to have taken responsibility to rebuild 202 houses in the villages of Kinchaung, Kharaemyaing, Kaigyi, Bawdikone, Kantharyar and Wetharli, Kanpyintharse, and in some urban wards that were burned down by the Muslim attackers during the unrest, while the UNHCR has done the same for 222 houses in Mawrawady, Kharaemyaing, Kaigyi, Bawdikone, and Kantharyar Villages,” said the official.

Care Myanmar is also reportedly rebuilding 128 houses that burned down in the unrest in Tharaekonebaung and Khinchaung Villages.

The official also said that 400 temporary tents – each 13 feet long by 13 feet wide and 7.5 feet high – that were donated by the UNHCR for temporary shelter for people displaced by the unrest have already arrived in Maungdaw.

According to official statements from the government and NGOs, there are about 60,000 displaced people with a total 8266 Arakanese and Muslim families sheltering in 12 temporary camps in downtown and on the outskirts of Sittwe, the capital of Arakan state.

770 temporary tents – measuring 45 feet long by 34 feet wide and 9 feet high – are reportedly being set up for those displaced families.

It was also reported that 170 of those tents would be built by the Arakan State government and the remaining 600 would be built by the UNHCR and other international NGOs. The INGOs are said to be planning programs to provide medical care and dispensaries, child care and education, and socio-psychological care for the survivors of the unrest, in collaboration with the local government.

WFP in Arakan State said it would spend 650,000 USD per month to provide food aid to the survivors of the unrest who are taking shelter in the temporary camps in the townships of Sittwe, Maungdaw, Buthidaung, Pauktaw, Ponna Kyunt, and Rathidaung. They also said they have already provided 1,515 tons of food aid comprised of 1,378 tons of rice, 37 tons of cooking oil, 17 tons of salt, and 83 tons of pulses to the survivors.

According to a statement by the government, the WFP has also secured 2,135 tons of food items, including rice, in its warehouses in Sittwe, Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathidaung for continued assistance to the survivors.

The UNHCR and other INGOs are also said to have already distributed a total of 6,818 sets of household items that included utensils, blankets, mosquito nets, plastic mats, towels, and soaps, as well as 2,412 sheets of tarpaulin to those displaced by unrest in the region.

The statement added that UNHCR has supplied 4,500 sets of household items, while UNICEF has supplied 1,346 sets of household items and 3,280 sheets of tarpaulin. Other INGOs, including Maltesar International Save the Children, Care, ACF, MSF-H, and MRCS, have also reportedly distributed 972 sets of household items and 32 sheets of tarpaulin.

Ms. Barbara Monzi, representative of the UNOCHA, said in a meeting on 18 July in Rangoon that her organization will continue to support the humanitarian aid for survivors of the unrest in Arakan State, regardless of their race or religion.

Arakanese people had widely protested the INGOs operating in their region in the wake of the violent unrest, claiming that the organizations had discriminated against them in their operations.