Civilians affected by the conflict and staying with family members or in rented rooms in Kyaukme town are struggling to make ends meet.
“These people are living outside the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps.. They have been in town since March,” says Loung Liang Han, chairperson of the Shan Literature and Culture Association (SLCA) Kyaukme.
The Shan association has provided rice, yellow beans, oil and salt and other basic food items to about 700 people from 180 families living outside the camps. But there are still hundreds of people who have not received any assistance. “We have not yet provided food to the IDPs who fled from Hu Sung, Tonne Heik, Lian Hseng and Kyein Kai villages. We are still trying to give food to the others in Kyaukme,” he told SHAN.
More than half of the more than 2,000 IDPs in Kyaukme Township live outside the camps. Most have been affected by fighting between rival ethnic armed groups who are fighting over land.