The Straits Times
Published on Dec 07, 2012

UN calls for access to people displaced by conflict in Myanmar


YANGON (AFP) - The UN's humanitarian chief has called on Myanmar to stop blocking aid to thousands of people displaced by conflict with northern ethnic rebels, raising concerns over welfare as winter draws in.

The United Nations has been prevented from reaching more than half of the 75,000 people forced from their homes by fighting between the army and minority Kachin insurgents, said Ms Valerie Amos in a statement sent overnight after a visit to the area on Thursday.

"The UN has not been allowed access to provide badly needed assistance to some 39,000 people in areas outside the government's control since July 2012," said the under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.

She said local partners were supplying food and other relief, "but their stocks are depleted and with the winter months approaching, getting more supplies in is critical".