YANGON – The Catholic Church in Myanmar is trying to help an increasing number of refugees fleeing ongoing clashes between rebel and government forces.
It has also voiced concern for the long-term well-being of displaced people who have been unable to return home after fighting between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army broke out on June 9.
“These people have not been able to earn a living since they ran away from the fighting,” said one Church official in Banmaw who requested anonymity.
Their continued displacement is also affecting their children’s education, he added.
A Church official in Myitkyina, who also wished to remain anonymous, said many refugees in his area are still without shelter and short of food, and their numbers are swelling each day.
There were hopes of a ceasefire agreement being reached recently to end clashes, but a series of ambushes on government forces has increased the air of uncertainty.
“We are trying to help as many people as we can,” said the Banmaw official. The Church is collecting food from other villages and looking to provide more shelters for families in need, he added.
Meanwhile, a Mandalay archdiocese appeal has seen parishioners donate generously to help ease the plight of Kachin refugees.
“We’ve collected about US$1,600 (S$1,940) worth of supplies so far and sent them already to Myitkyina and Banmaw dioceses,” said the procurator of Mandalay archdiocese. - UCANEWS.COM