The United Nations’ food aid programme withdrew a report that revealed desperate hunger among the persecuted Rohingya population after the Myanmar government demanded it be taken down, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.
In a six-page report produced in July, the World Food Programme warned that 80,000 children under the age of five living in majority-Muslim areas were suffering from rapid weight loss, which is a potentially fatal condition. But now, the report has been replaced with a statement that says Myanmar and WFP are “collaborating on a revised version”.
The report should not be cited in any way, the statement added.
“WFP stands by its original assessment, which was conducted jointly with local authorities in Rakhine state…”, , the agency said in an emailed statement to the British daily. “However, WFP recognises that in a dynamic and evolving situation, it is important to coordinate closely with all partners, including the government.”
This revelation, The Guardian noted, may add to a series of recent criticisms that UN did not push the Myanmar government hard enough for the rights of the Rohingya or sound the alarm on their spiralling oppression.
This comes a week after the UN recalled Renata Lok-Dessallien, its most senior official in the country, after she was the focus of a BBC investigation in which she was accused of suppressing internal discussion on the humanitarian crisis.