Reduced funding from international donors has seen tens of thousands of refugees living on the Thai Burma border receiving less food to eat.
The Border Consortium, who is responsible for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the 129,787 refugees from Burma now living in Thailand have said that rice rations were revised in the Thailand refugee camps following “reductions in funding for humanitarian food aid.”
Reduction in rations were implemented on December and TBC have been reported as saying that they would be based on household needs.
The TBC said in a media statement in September 2013 that the standard ration of rice that is now12 kg per month for adults would be “…changed to 8, 10, or 12 kg, depending on camp vulnerability/need.”
Refugees who spoke to Karen News said that this is the second time in the last two years that their rations have been cut.
Saw Eh Doh Soe a refugee at the Noe Poe camp told Karen News that the cuts to his rations have affected his family.
“We only get eight kilograms of rice for each person now. Some refugees have to buy rice, as it is not enough. If TBC cannot give us rations as before, we will need at least two more kilograms of rice a month. Refugees who have no income will have problems satisfying their rations needs.”
Naw Wah Hset Plo has lived in Umphiem Refugee Camp since 2001 and has six adults in her family group who are all affected by the ration cuts. She told Karen News of the problem.
“Our rice was enough when we got 12 kg. Now the rice is reduced to eight kilograms, it is definitely not enough. We cook three small [milk] cans (equivalent to 1 kg) for each meal and we eat two meals a day. Our food rations are finished a week before the end of the month.”
Naw Wah Hset Plo, 28, said her family is trying hard to supplement their rations.
“I work with a camp based NGO and I earn some income that helps supplement our food rations, but my brothers have to also sneak out from the camp to work as daily labourers to earn money so we have enough to eat.”
Saw Mutaw from Mae La Refugee Camp said his family is struggling to feed his family with the new round of ration cuts.
“My wife has complained to the camp officials that we are having a hard time managing to feed the family. My family is large, we are 10 and we have a child who is in need of constant medical care.”
Saw Mutaw said he runs small snacks and vegetables shop from his home to help cope with the cuts.
“All I earn goes on medicine for my child, we don’t have anything left to pay for extra food.”