KBC: Nippon Foundation Will Not Assist IDPs in KIA-Controlled Areas

 In a first meeting between the two organizations, no pledge for food assistance from the Japanese non-profit was reportedly reached. 

Friday, December 15, 2018

Representatives from the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) and the Nippon Foundation met this week to discuss collaboration in providing food assistance to internally displaced people (IDPs) on the Kachin-China border, but no solution was achieved, KBC said.

NMG reportedon Tuesday that an estimated 70,000 IDPs were facing food shortages in the region under the control of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), following blocks on the import of supplies from China.

According to the KBC, the Nippon Foundation can only give aid to displaced communities in areas under state administration, which total around 40,000 people. However twice as many IDPs—upwards of 80,000—have taken refuge outside of this territory.

“What [the Nippon Foundation representatives] said is that they have a policy to help IDPs and refugees living in government-controlled areas. They can not help the refugees living out of government-controlled areas,” KBC chairperson Dr. Hkalam Samson told NMG.

He described the meeting—the first between the two entities—as leaving with him for “no hope” of collaboration with or assistance from the Japanese non-profit to address the crisis.

“We asked questions like, can you help the IDPs if they don’t live in a government-controlled area? Why are you able to help refugees living under government control? They are facing the same troubles. They didn’t answer my questions,” Dr. Hkalam Samson said.

The Nippon Foundation reportedly urged the signing of Burma’s Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement by the KIA in the meeting with the KBC on December 10.

“Their talk mainly focused on that,” the KBC chairperson said.

A total of 30 representatives, including religious leaders, members of civil society, the Kachin advisory team and the Kachin literature and cultural organization attended the meeting with the Nippon Foundation held at the KBC office.