Thousands Facing Food Insecurity In Lashio District

By Network Media Group
Saturday, May 23 2020

Thousands of villagers in northern Shan State are facing food insecurity after the government introduced a lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus since the end of March.

In Lashio district, over 2,000 people from 12 villages required emergency assistance. Ven Ashin Takkha Nyanna, secretary for the central branch of the Ta’ang Monk Association, told NMG that the monks provided basic food packages to the villagers. “They haven’t earned anything in this period and that’s why they’re struggling for food.”

Along with the Oumta Mao Social Volunteer Team, monks last week donated rice, cooking oil, salt, instant noodles, bean, soaps and medicine to 700 families.

A resident of Ner Mont, located in Mongreh township, told NMG before the pandemic almost everyone made their livelihoods working as daily workers, earning between 2,000 kyat (est. US$1.40) and 5,000 kyat (est. US$3.60) a day. “Now we don’t have a job or any income, so we have nothing to eat.”

The villager said the food donation the monks delivered should last about 20 days.

Aik Nwe, from the Oumta Mao Social Volunteer Team, told NMG the road in Mongreh township is much better than in the other villages they donated food. In some of the more remote locations in Mongyaw region, the road does not reach the villages and the vehicles get stuck when it rains. “Villagers travelled to meet us on oxen and horses to collect donations.”

Aik Nwe said many people need their help and the organisation plans to bring food packages to residents in Tangyan township and other areas of northern Shan State.

The monks and the aid group donated food to Merk Hurn Tan, Nam Khai, Kyuwin, Ner Mont, Loi Weing and Namsin (aka Huay Hok) in Mongreh township. In the Mongyaw region, they brought food packages to Loikan, Ho Ner, Pang Sone, Pang Htee, Loi Pak and Panglon.