Karen News War in Karen State Has Led to Halt in Trade and Alarming Food Shortages in Kawkareik

Due to military conflict the main road to Kawkareik has been blocked, preventing the import of goods and causing locals to experience shortages of food and other essentials during the current rainy season, an owner of a convenience store in the southern part of Kawkareik reported.

Traffic on the Kawkareik-Myawaddy (Asia) Road, crucial for regional trade, has come to a complete halt. As a result, almost all businesses involved in Thailand-Myanmar border trade are facing difficulties. While jungle routes are an option, they are time-consuming and dangerous.

“The closure of Asia Road has caused significant problems for the public, making it inconvenient to transport goods. During the current rainy season, alternative routes are damaged and too risky to use, resulting in numerous delays”, a trader based in Myawaddy told KIC.

Currently, Kawkareik is under the control of Junta troops, and displaced locals are being called to resettle. However, residents of the surrounding villages are still not allowed to return home and remain displaced. Almost all routes leading to Kawkareik have strict travel restrictions in place.

“The problem of trade blockage is highly significant and has led to increased prices. During the current rainy season, other jungle routes have also been damaged, making them unusable for trade. Locals also face the struggles of being war-displaced, leaving them in quite a dilemma”, she said.

The trade blockage caused by military tension has not only caused the residents of Kawkareik to suffer but also impacted border traders and their employees.

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