Government delays permits to raise funds for IDPs 1

Relief aid groups have to submit applications to proper township administrators to raise funds in towns and villages, but authorities have delayed granting permits.

Authorities from the Arakan State government deter or question charity groups if they fail to apply permit to raise funds for Arakanese IDPs.

“We need permits to raise funds,” said U La Aung, chairperson of the Arakanese Youth Blood Donors Association.

Sittwe based Arakan Alin Daga Activists’ Group has submitted an application to the township administration office in April, but has not been given a permit yet.

 “We’d like to request authorities to allow us to collect funds to help IDPs,” said Daw Phyu Phyu Than, secretary of the Arakan Alin Daga Activists’ Group.

The group started collecting funds in Sittwe in May without being granted permit, eventually the group was punished by authorities.

 “It shows that the government is weak in collaborating with the CSOs. Charity groups can help those that the government has neglected. That’s why authorities should give permits once charitable groups apply,” said U Khaing Kaung San, director of Wan Lark Foundation.

The Arakan State government said that it has to impose restrictions on applying for permits before collecting finds for IDPs because it is concerned about unsavory situations that can potentially occur at the expense of people doing good will.

The delay of grating permit to CSOs and charity groups hampers relief groups to provide emergency aid for IDPs.

Meanwhile, the government has banned international organizations (apart from WFP and ICRC) to enter conflict affected areas for security reasons while the government can’t effectively fulfill the basic needs of the refugees.