UN: Myanmar’s humanitarian wants develop as battle rages

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UNITED NATIONS: Myanmar’s humanitarian needs are growing as fighting continues in the country’s southeast and northwest, a United Nations spokesman said on Friday (Saturday in Manila). There are 889,900 displaced people, including the 370,000 already displaced before the Southeast Asian country’s military took over control of the government over a year ago, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. But access to these people remains limited, hampering the planned scale-up of humanitarian assistance in 2022, he added. “Clashes, road blockages and military checkpoints limit our access to areas where needs are critical,” the spokesman said. The demand for support may have exceeded the capacity to respond, but the UN and its partners continue to provide food, water, warm clothes, blankets, and mosquito nets, as well as hygiene kits and Covid-19 prevention items. They also provide protection services to displaced people and communities in conflict areas across the country. Dujarric urged all parties to respect international humanitarian law to protect civilians and ensure that people in need have access to humanitarian aid.

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