NGO urges increased pressure on govt over aid access to northern Rakhine

The Norwegian Refugee Council called on the international community to take stronger action to ensure the resumption of humanitarian access to northern Rakhine State, warning that lives were at stake.

“All countries should immediately make this issue their number one priority in their relations with Myanmar. Lives are literally at stake,” NRC secretary-general Mr Jan Egeland said in a statement released by the NGO on October 6.

He called on the Myanmar authorities to take immediate action on their promise to allow humanitarian access to people in need of aid in northern Rakhine, which has been closed to most outside organsations since the August 25 attacks.

“The Norwegian Refugee Council is standing by, waiting for the authorities to allow us to move into areas where we fear many people may be stranded without clean water, food, or shelter,” Egeland said.

“We have supplies, we have staff, we have transport. The only thing standing between us and the people who need help is permission to go,” he said.

Support more independent journalism like this. Sign up to be a Frontier member.

Humanitarian organisations “must have access to help these people without one more minute of delay”, said Egeland, who was the United Nations undersecretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator from 2003 to 2006.

International organisations have repeatedly called for humanitarian access to northern Rakhine since August 25.

In the aftermath of a government-arranged visit to the area on October 2, ambassadors or senor diplomats from 20 countries reiterated a call for unimpeded access, citing “the dire humanitarian need”.

The UN also called for access and referred to the scale of human suffering as “unimaginable”.

 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

More stories

Latest Issue

Stories in this issue
Myanmar enters 2021 with more friends than foes
The early delivery of vaccines is one of the many boons of the country’s geopolitics, but to really take advantage, Myanmar must bury the legacy of its isolationist past.
Will the Kayin BGF go quietly?
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.

Stay on top of Myanmar current affairs with our Daily Briefing and Media Monitor newsletters

Our fortnightly magazine is available in print, digital, or a combination beginning at $80 a year

Sign up for our Frontier Fridays newsletter. It’s a free weekly round-up featuring the most important events shaping Myanmar