Bangladesh: International support for Rohingya refugees is urgently needed

Responding to news that UN officials have called for approximately £720 million in assistance for the huge numbers of Rohingya refugees currently in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director, said:

“The money is urgently needed to help the Rohingya refugees to be able to live in safe and adequate living conditions in the camps in Bangladesh. This is not a short-term crisis and there is little prospect of them being able to return to their homes in Rakhine any time soon.

“As the monsoon season looms, there is a great risk of landslides and floods striking the camps. The threat of diseases, such as diphtheria, measles and cholera, has to be aggressively combated with mass vaccinations and appropriate sanitation.

“The refugees also need food, clean water and healthcare. The needs of the local host communities, which have been severely affected, must also be carefully considered.

“Bangladesh cannot be abandoned to deal with this situation alone. At a time when the world’s wealthiest countries have turned refugees away, it has opened its doors to nearly a million people.

“The international community must help Bangladesh as it tends to the critical needs of the victims of ethnic cleansing.”

Last October, members of the international community pledged £250 million of the £310 million that the UN said was needed to support the immediate needs of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The UN is set to make a fresh appeal for more financial support this week.

Amnesty today released a new report, which shows that Myanmar’s military is involved in a land grab on a dramatic scale in Rakhine, with authorities building security force bases on land where Rohingya villages were burned to the ground just months ago.

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