Aid agency terminates food, livelihood assistance programme in Myanmar’s Rakhine
John Liu The Myanmar Times Thu, January 9, 2020
NAAY PYI TAW, Myanmar – An international aid agency has cut short its food and livelihood assistance programme to the civilians in the strife-torn Rakhine State due to restrictions of the state government.
More than 56,000 people in 102 rural villages will be affected following the shutdown of the Tat Lan development programme of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Minbya and Myebon townships.
The American humanitarian aid organisation announced earlier this week the termination of its programme after a yearlong suspension of activities imposed by the state government.
“The permanent withdrawal of this support will exacerbate the needs of rural communities and slow their recovery from the ongoing conflict,” the aid agency said in a statement.
The programme ended a year earlier than planned after the Livelihoods and Food Security Fund, a multi-donor fund, which has provided US$19.6 million to the project since 2013, decided to terminate support for the project due to yearlong inactivity.
LIFT said the Rakhine State government suspended the project following an “administrative error made during a routine travel request that IRC submitted to state authorities in November 2018.”
“With the passing of one year, LIFT’s Fund Board decided that it can no longer continue to fund IRC or the Tat Lan project in the absence of activities and results for Rakhine’s communities,” it added.
Over 60 IRC staff mostly, from Myebon and Minbya, will lose their jobs due to the termination of the project.
“Our staff are committed to the communities where they work because our staff are from those same communities,” said Alan Moseley, IRC’s Myanmar country director. “We all want nothing more than for them to be able to get back to work.”
In December, the government also banned tourists from travelling to Minbya, along with Mrauk-U and Ponnagyun townships, citing escalation of clashes between government forces and the Arakan Army.
The IRC has listed Myanmar as one of the countries, most at risk of a humanitarian catastrophe in 2020.
From: THE MYANMAR TIMES (MYANMAR) Thu, Jan 9, 2020