World, Asia - Pacific

Myanmar: UN agency calls for help for women of Rakhine

United Nations Population Fund says 7,600 women, girls had no access to basic, primary health services for almost 2 months

Myanmar: UN agency calls for help for women of Rakhine

By Kyaw Ye Lynn

YANGON, Myanmar

A United Nations agency has called for urgent help for women and girls recently uprooted by conflicts in Myanmar’s Rakhine State saying they risk sexual violence and lack access to healthcare.

Since nine police officers died in Oct. 9 attacks in an area of Rakhine predominantly inhabited by the country's Rohingya Muslim population, soldiers have been accused of numerous human right violations -- including sexual assaults.

Although the government allowed UN agencies and international organizations into the area Nov. 6 to provide humanitarian aid to those affected by the recent violence, Rohingya advocacy groups claim around 400 Rohingya have been killed, women raped and houses and mosques destroyed.

The government, meanwhile, says just 86 people -- 17 soldiers and 69 alleged "attackers" -- have been killed, and property destroyed in the area.

On Tuesday, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said in a statement that some 7,600 women and girls in Rakhine's Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships have had no access to basic and primary health services for almost two months.

“All women in Rakhine, including all ethnic and religious minorities, must be given access to healthcare and other essential services without discrimination,” it said.

“They must be protected from all forms of violence, including sexual assault... It is imperative that the violence stops,” it added.

The UNFPA said an estimated 40,000 pregnant women live in areas affected by conflict of Rakhine.

“When people are isolated or on the run, protective mechanisms within families and communities break down,” it said.

“And women become more vulnerable to violence and exploitation.”

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
Related topics
Bu haberi paylaşın