Villagers affected by the conflict in southern Shan State are in urgent need of emergency aid, as their remaining food supplies are dangerously low.
Nearly half of the 18,000 people displaced by the fighting have not received any food packages from donors for an extended period, according to a man who, like many others, had to leave his home due to the violence between regime forces and resistance groups based in the area.
“Our camp has run out of food rations,” he explained, noting that the last time they received support was over seven months ago. The man mentioned that they are working as daily labourers on a maize farm, but the wages are insufficient to buy all the necessary food, as well as water and fuel.
“We need to collect some money to buy petroleum so we can pump water from the creek to our camp,” he added. However, the water has a high calcium content and must be boiled before consumption. While they can collect water during the rainy season, they anticipate challenges during the dry season when they cannot.
“I want to return to my home,” the man expressed. Despite having a roof over his head, his shelter lacks walls and a door, making him uneasy at night and compromising his safety.
The majority of the displaced villagers come from Panlaung, Paikhun, Mongpai in southern Shan State, and Karenni State. Since 2022, they have been surviving with minimal support, and if they cannot return to their villages in the future, regular employment will be crucial for maintaining a balanced diet and saving money for emergencies.