World Food Programme Teams in Western Burma to see the scarcity of rice
Maungdaw, 2 October: The World Food Programme has
begun distributing rice among the widows and schoolgirls of Maungdaw Township beginning the second week of September.
At Bandoola village tract in the locality, each of
the widows and schoolgirls of the village primary school is given 35 to 45
kilos of rice.
Likewise the rice is being distributed in some other villages including Aung Chantha, Tamantha,
A delegation of the World Food Programme on 25th September visited the western Burmese
town of Maungdaw,
close to the border of Bangladesh.
Another team, led by Mike Fletcher, visited the area between 23rd and 30th
The recent sharp hike of rice price in the locality has caused alarm and
reacting to the informal reports of a famine-like situation in the area the
UNHCR and other related organizations that have been engaged in repatriation of
Burmese refugees in the camps in Bangladesh
have stepped up their visits in the western border of Burma.
The WFP team on 25 September visited a number of shops at Kringchaung Village
under Maungdaw Township of Rakhine
State and inquired about the price of rice, according to our
correspondent. They also took photographs of a state-owned rice mill in
Recently at least two WFP delegations from Rangoon
came visiting the border areas as the entire area is in a silent famine-like
situation resulting from scarcity of rice. A town elder at Maungdaw said, “Previously we saw rice illegally being
smuggled to Bangladesh.
Now it is the smuggled Bangladeshi rice that we have to buy at a high price.
A fifty-kilo bag of rice is now selling at kyat 15,000 in Sittwe,
the western Rakhine State capital, while the same
costs at kyat 18,000 in the western border. One month ago it cost only
kyat 8,000. The ruling State Peace and Development Council junta recently
withdraw its ban on transport of rice from Burma
proper to Rakhine
State on the face of scarcity of
rice. A businessman in Sittwe said that the
scarcity of rice resulted from a number of factors including rampant
transportation of rice to Burma
proper by the State Agriculture Transportation Department and smuggling out of
rice in conjunction with the top junta officials stationed in Rakhine State.