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Myanmar's Muslim Rohingyas say they're facing nutrition crisis

Source: Reuters - Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:53 PM
Author: Reuters
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In Myanmar's western state of Rakhine, violence and poverty run rampant.

Now, Muslim Rohingyas there say it's affecting their health.

They say their children are suffering from malnutrition and that it's a direct result of aid workers being attacked in the region.

(SOUNDBITE) (Rohingya) MUSLIM WOMAN SARSHIDAR SAYING:

"My children have been facing food problems for three months since the NGOs left. We have no food support, no medicine, nothing. There is no donor either."

Warehouses belonging to aid groups like UNHCR and UNICEF were attacked in March.

Workers were immediately evacuated.

Now residents say they're without help.

(SOUNDBITE) (Burmese) MUSLIM RESIDENT MOHAMAD ALI SAYING:

"When we have food aid, we have money and can help each other when someone has health or nutrition problems. Now, no one has money here since there are no NGOs and no help."

At the State Information Ministry, there's a different story.

The deputy director is unconvinced that the families are really suffering.

(SOUNDBITE) (Burmese) DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF STATE INFORMATION MINISTRY WIN MYAING SAYING:

"There is a group who denied taking medical treatment from neither the government nor Doctors Without Borders. They are pretending that the government is neglecting them, and that they are suffering from these problems to the media."

Religious violence has killed at least 237 people there since June 2012.

More than 140,000 have been displaced, many of them Muslim Rohingya in Rakhine State.

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