Financial Assistance Dries Up at the Ei Tu Hta IDP Camp

Despite appeals for emergency funding, a displaced persons camp in the northern Karen State has received no additional cash and anticipates its finances have dried up by the end of September, officials said.

At the beginning of September, the Ei Tu Hta IDP Camp Supporting Committee submitted letters to international donors requesting that financial support be extended. The committee told Karen News this week that no replies were received.

Saw Kar Lo, who supervises the camp’s dwindling rations warehouse, said he thinks that donors cut funds to the IDP camp because they believe Myanmar has achieved peace.

“They don’t know the difficulties faced by the displaced people,” he said.

He added that there is only enough rice and salt to continue feeding the 2,000 IDPs at the Ei Tu Hta camp, including children, through November. After that, he said he fears they will have nothing to eat.

Camp secretary Saw Ka Lel Phaw blamed continuing Tatmadaw outposts and landmine remnants for preventing the IDPs from feeling like they could safely return home.

IDPs at Ei Tu Hta said they would return if arrangements could be made for them to live and find livelihoods in an area under the Karen National Union’s (KNU) control.

Saw Htoo Wah, a disabled man living at the Ei Tu Hta IDP camp, said he does not know how he can earn a living if he returns to his village.

“My arms and legs are not strong anymore. I can’t see well either so I won’t be able to make a living if I go back to my village. It’s already difficult enough with my child’s school fees and living costs,” he said.

The Ei Tu Hta IDP camp was opened as a temporary shelter for Karen civilians who fled fighting between the Tatmadaw and the KNU in 2006.

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