No child died of food crisis: CAD

September 1, 2008 – The Country Agency for Rural Development in Myanmar, a NGO based in Rangoon, former capital of Burma has said that the report of the Chin National Council claiming that 44 children died of food shortage in remote areas of Thangtlang Township in Chin state was incorrect.

“The information that 44 children died of food crisis in Chin state by the CNC is wrong. No child died in Surngen, Tisen (A, B) and Sentun villages,” said Joseph Kung Za Hmung, director of CAD.

The Chin National Council claimed on August 21 that 44 children in Surngen, Tisen (A, B), Sentun, Ngalang, Lawngzuite, Lawngtlang villages in Thangtlang Township died from malnutrition and diarrhea – as a result of food shortage in Chin state.

“All the victims were children. They died from malnutrition and diarrhea, Pu Ralhnin, secretary of CNC told Khonumthung news last week.

The CAD was set up in 2004 to combat poverty in rural areas of Burma, particularly in Chin state the most backward and isolated state in Burma. The World Food Program in Rangoon also agreed that CAD take up the task to distribute relief aid and rehabilitation work in Thangtlang and Hakha townships.

Joseph said, “We are operating development projects in the region. We have a proper record of how many people died and babies born in these villages. So far as far as we know there were only three people (not children) who died of malaria.”

However, the CAD director did not mention the verification done in three other villages in the CNC report like Ngalang, Lawnzuite and Lawngtlang villages.

So far, the CNC has not replied to the CAD on the death of children in some villages of Thangtlang Township as a result of food crisis.

Moreover, after the news of the 44 children dying from diarrhea and malnutrition in Chin state emanated from Burmese media in exile, the home ministry of Burma is said to have send off police team stationed in Hakha town and Hmung Tlang village to conduct investigations in the Surngen, Sentung, Tisen A and B villages in Thangtlang township to verify the report.

“From August 25 to 28, the police team went to the four villages and asked the villagers about the report but they did not get confirmation of deaths from diarrhea and malnutrition in these villagers,” Joseph said.

“This morning I myself made a call to Thangtlang to make sure if the report on the death of children in the four villages was true or not. But I did not get any information on children dying because of food crisis in these villages,” he added.

Joseph also said that though he did not hear about deaths from food crisis, he acknowledged that some villages in Chin state close to the Indo-Burma border areas are facing acute shortage of food. – KHONUMTHUNG.



About Zou Sangnaupang Pawlpi Delhi

Zou Students' Association Delhi Branch
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