Myanmar has blocked all UN aid agencies from delivering vital supplies to Rohingya caught up in the country’s genocidal campaign, reports the Guardian.
The office of the UN resident coordinator in Myanmar said deliveries to northern Rakhine state had been suspended “because the security situation and government field-visit restrictions rendered us unable to distribute assistance”.
“The UN is in close contact with authorities to ensure that humanitarian operations can resume as soon as possible,” the office said. Aid was being delivered to other parts of Rakhine state, it added.
Staff from the UN refugee agency, the United Nations Population Fund, and Unicef also reported not having conducted any field work in northern Rakhine for more than a week – a dangerous pause in life-saving relief that will affect poor Buddhist residents as well as Rohingya.
The UN World Food Programme said it also had to suspend distributions to other parts of the state, leaving 250,000 people without regular access to food.
Sixteen major non-governmental organisations including Oxfam and Save the Children have also complained that the government has restricted access to the conflict area.
Humanitarian organisations are “deeply concerned about the fate of thousands of people affected by the ongoing violence” in northern Rakhine, said Pierre Peron, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Myanmar.