Step up support for Rohingyas: AI | 2017-10-21 |

Step up support for Rohingyas: AI

Staff Correspondent     21st October, 2017 02:53:39 printer

Step up support for Rohingyas: AI

The Amnesty International has called upon donor countries to step up their support for the Rohingya people who fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar.


More countries need to step up and pledge their support for Rohingyas amid an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, the AI said in a statement on Friday.


The call came ahead of a pledging conference of the United Nations slated for October 23 in Geneva.


At the meeting, representatives of donor countries must include pledges of new financial assistance to support the rising numbers of Rohingyas, it suggests.


With the recent influxes, the number of Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar is over 800,000.

Omar Waraich, Deputy South Asia Director at the Amnesty International, said, “This unprecedented crisis needs an immediate and sustained response from the international community.”


“This means that more countries, particularly those from the region, need to play a much bigger role and share the burden of responsibility,” he added.


He also said Bangladesh, a poor country which has shown extraordinary generosity, cannot be left to deal with this situation alone.


“These deeply-traumatised refugees are subsisting in extremely difficult conditions, with no prospect of being able to return home any time soon.”


It reads that an Al delegation found Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar overcrowded with the people. Nearly 600,000 new arrivals are squeezed into flimsy bamboo and tarpaulin tents.


The tents are severely constrained access to lifesaving assistance, medical facilities, safe areas for women and schooling for the children who make up more than 61 percent of the refugee population.


Humanitarian agencies have identified high levels of severe acute malnutrition, particularly among children, as well as risk of diseases, such as cholera, due to poor water and sanitation conditions.


There are also clear needs for comprehensive psychosocial assistance or support programmes for a deeply-traumatised population, who will need help over the short, medium and long terms if their full physical, mental and emotional recovery is to be assured.


The international community should address a range of urgent needs of Rohingya refugees, from transportation to camps, to medical and lifesaving assistance at every stage.


Refugees interviewed by the AI remembered harrowing journeys from their villages, where they came under attack, to the camps in Bangladesh.


Many said they had been forced to pay extortionate sums to be transported in boats to Bangladesh.


Those without money told the AI that they were forced to part with jewellery and other valuable possessions to pay for the boat crossing.


“Rohingya refugees who walked for days - often barefoot, hungry and injured, depleting all reserves - are faced with extortion to make the last leg of their journey,” said Charmain Mohamed, head of the AI Refugee and Migrant Rights.