UN Humanitarian chief urges reconciliation in Rakhine, Myanmar

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Displaced children in Rakhine State

The top UN Humanitarian official has expressed concern over the condition of displaced communities across Rakhine State, describing the situation as "dire".

Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said she saw thousands of people in overcrowded, substandard shelter with poor sanitation, noting that they don't have jobs, children are not in school and they can't leave the camp because their movement is restricted.

During her trip, Under Secretary-General Amos travelled with a senior government official to the border where she visited communities and to a series of camps where more than 70,000 people live and where co-ordination between the Government and UN agencies has improved significantly.

She said "Tensions between the communities are still running very high", and expressed shock to see so many soldiers everywhere keeping communities away from each other.

The UN Emergency relief Coordinator said people from both communities gave her the same message. They are living in fear and want to go back to living a normal life.

Ms. Amos said "there is an urgent need for reconciliation."

At the same time, she highlighted the security threats to humanitarian workers as a major challenge in providing assistance.

Noting that the trust is not there, she urged the political leaders in Myanmar to support the important humanitarian work being done by the United Nations and its partners.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″


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