Gov’t discusses COVID-19 preparedness in IDP camps with UN agencies

Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye attends the video conferencing with UN humanitarian aid agencies in concerning preparations against COVID-19 for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA
Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye attends the video conferencing with UN humanitarian aid agencies in concerning preparations against COVID-19 for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA

Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr Win Myat Aye held a video conference with UN humanitarian aid agencies yesterday concerning preparations against COVID-19 for internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Speaking at the meeting, the Union Minister said there are 128 IDP camps in 24 townships scatteringe throughout Kachin, Kayin, Shan and Rakhine states that houses 184,333 IDPs. He said they have an action plan to combat COVID-19 for IDPs in their camps, which includes international humanitarian assistance and protection standards and an interim guideline issued by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee.
The Union Minister called for the need to have action plans in place to monitor, recognize, treat and have emergency responses in place for COVID-19 among the IDP camps. He said state/regional governments, camp management committees and affiliated organizations should all work together in preventing COVID-19.
Next, the UN resident coordinator said they acknowledge the government’s efforts for national inclusiveness in preventing COVID-19, especially for people living in conflict areas, IDPs and vulnerable populations. He said they will continue providing humanitarian aid in those areas and will inform of COVID-19 in the camps they are allowed to visit. He said international organizations are always looking for ways to assist the government.
Next, the World Food Programme Director said they are ready to provide necessary assistance including health products and hygiene products.
An official from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees office then said they can provide assistance with quarantine facilities and UNICEF will increase cooperation on child protection among IDPs, support for women and children, and shock responsive social protection. Officials from WHO, UNDP and UNOCHA also discussed assistance they will be providing.
Next, Deputy Minister U Soe Aung said there are nutritional needs and support requirements for the elderly, chronic illness-afflicted patients, people with disabilities, pregnant mothers and children in the IDP camps.
In his closing speech, the Union Minister said the central committee against Coronavirus Disease 2019 was formed on 13 March and the ministry notified international organizations they have signed MoUs with for assistance on 18 March.
He said a task force from the Union Government Office, Ministry of Health and Sports and his ministry is monitoring for cases of COVID-19 and if lab tests return with positive results, they will seek out people who have been in close contact with them and take effective measurements.
He said the participation of each individual in IDP camps is crucial and a draft strategic plan for preventing and containing COVID-19 in IDP camps will be drawn up with everyone’s cooperation. —MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)

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