Chin Human Rights Organization
2930 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 200-36, Berkeley, California, US 94705
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Victor Biak Lian
Tel: +1 613.796.9514
E-mail: vblian@hotmail. com
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tel: +66.85.23.02. 609
E-mail: Amy.CHRO@gmail. com
CHRO RELEASES NEW REPORT ON FOOD INSECURITY IN BURMA’S CHIN STATE
9 July 2008
Ottawa, Canada: The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) released a report today highlighting the increasing shortages of food in western Burma’s Chin State. The report, entitled, Critical Point: Food Scarcity and Hunger in Burma’s Chin State, finds that as many as 200 villages may be directly affected by severe food shortages, and no less than 100,000 people or 20 percent of the entire population of Chin State may be in need of immediate food aid. While the immediate cause of food insecurities in Chin State is rooted in the cyclical flowering and dying of bamboo in the area, the continuation of severe human rights violations and repressive economic policies by Burma’s military regime has exacerbated the food crisis- bringing it to a critical point.
“This is just another example of the regime’s extreme disregard for the people of Burma. The regime has done nothing to provide assistance to communities in immediate need of food aid. Rather, they are obstructing relief supplies and hindering humanitarian efforts in western Burma,” said Salai Bawi Lian Mang, Executive Director of CHRO.
As affected communities are reduced to foraging for edible leaves and roots in the forest, the food crisis in Chin State could potentially lead to high rates of starvation, malnutrition, and the rapid deterioration of people’s health. Having exhausted food sources in Chin State, more than 600 people have reportedly fled across the border to India’s Mizoram State in search of food security.
“The situation is at a critical point. The people of Chin State are on the brink of starvation. Action must be taken now to respond to this crisis,” said Salai Bawi Lian Mang.
CHRO makes recommendations for immediate action to the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the governments of India and Mizoram, and the international community.
The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) is non-governmental, not for profit organization legally registered in Canada with offices in Canada, the United States, Thailand, and India. CHRO works to protect and promote the rights of the Chin people of Burma. For more information, please visit CHRO on the web at www.chro.org.