MSF urges humanitarian access to Rakhine
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called out to Myanmar government to allow humanitarian access to northern Rakhine, where attention is needed.
Independent humanitarian agencies remain largely blocked from accessing vulnerable communities in northern Rakhine, they said in a statement released from Amsterdam today.
"The lack of sustained independent assessments in northern Rakhine means that no one has a comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground and the medical and humanitarian needs," says Benoit De Gryse, MSF's Operations Manager for Myanmar.
"MSF once again requests the government grant immediate and unfettered access to northern Rakhine to all independent and impartial humanitarian actors, to ensure that the healthcare needs of the population can be evaluated and addressed." Gryse said.
The Myanmar government has claimed that healthcare needs are being met, but the severe limitations on humanitarian access to northern Rakhine underline the lack of independent information on conditions, the statement said.
On August 11, 2017, two weeks prior to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and the Myanmar Army's so-called "clearance operations" that followed, MSF lost government authorisation to carry out medical activities in northern Rakhine. One year on, MSF remains unable to operate in the area.
MSF has provided healthcare to all communities in northern Rakhine since 1994.
MSF continues to provide primary healthcare and emergency referrals for patients in Sittwe district, central Rakhine. Elsewhere in Myanmar, MSF continues to run medical projects in Shan, Kachin and Yangon, as well as in the Naga Self-Administered Zone and Tanintharyi region.