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NGOs targeted in Myanmar, causing food prices to soar

Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 01:26

March 29 - Violence aimed at NGO's in Myanmar has forced groups to flee and food prices to as supplies run out, leaving Muslim Rohingyas to fend for themselves. Nathan Frandino reports.

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As merchants sell can after can of rice in Myanmar, concern is growing among locals, especially Muslim Rohingyas. While the staple product sits side-by-side in nearly every market stall in this village in the Rakhine state, supplies are likely to run out. That's because non-governmental organizations are under attack, forcing the groups to flee. (SOUNDBITE) (Rohingya) BUSINESSMAN, MOHARMAD ALI, SAYING: "If there are no NGOs, since most Muslims here are poor, there will be a food problem without NGOs delivering it to them as they did before. There is a shortage of medicine too and media as well. Poor Muslims could die." With suppliers like the World Food Programme and USAID gone, the supply chain has been disrupted and food prices have spiked. (SOUNDBITE) (Rohingya) VILLAGER, HLA MAUNG, SAYING: "The price of rice is going up every day. This morning the price of rice rose from 15,000 Kyats to 18,000 Kyats per bag. And then late afternoon it was 20,000 Kyats to 25,000 Kyats depending on the rice quality. The price of other food products like salt, oil, chili and onion is going up too." Merchants say anti-Muslim Rakhine ethnic groups have ordered them not to trade with internally displaced persons, like the Muslim Rohingyas. Religious violence in the country has left at least 237 dead and more than 140,000 displaced since June 2012.

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NGOs targeted in Myanmar, causing food prices to soar

Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 01:26