‘World must not forget plight of Rohingyas’
Dhaka, July 30 : British MP Rushanara Ali has said the international community must redouble its efforts to meet the immediate needs of Rohingyas and find a political solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis.
“The world must not forget their plight, as this crisis continues,” she said in a statement on Monday adding that further support will allow the Rohingyas to rebuild their lives in safety and security.
Only one third of the UN appeal for funding has been fulfilled.
British Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Rushanara visited refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar on July 26-27 where almost one million people are now living in an area which is less than 5 square miles.
She said the ties between the UK and Bangladesh remain strong, and the UK government is uniquely positioned to lead support for the Rohingyas.
“The generosity of the people of Bangladesh, especially the communities in Cox’s Bazar, is remarkable and the long-term needs of local people who also live in poverty, under very challenging circumstances, should be at the heart of future plans as well,” she said.
Beginning on 25th August 2017, the Myanmar military carried out a series of attacks on the Rohingya population in Rakhine State which forced hundreds of thousands of people fleeing for their lives and crossing the border into Bangladesh.
Rushanara visited a women’s centre and mobile medical team run by the International Rescue Committee.
These provide essential services for refugees, including a delivery ward and counselling to women and girls who have experience violence.
She also visited a community centre run by UNHCR and BRAC where caseworkers help with the relocation of refugees that are the most vulnerable to flooding and landslides, as well as attending a meeting with Rohingya and Bangladeshi representatives organised by IOM.
Speaking on the visit, Rushanara said, “The monsoon season has brought constant rains to the one million refugees in Cox’s Bazar. Conditions are increasingly dangerous and landslides have already destroyed shelters and people have been injured.
She said local and international agencies such as International Rescue Committee are doing incredible work under very difficult circumstances.
August marks the one-year anniversary of the brutal violence carried out by the Myanmar military against the Rohingyas, but it also marks the peak of the monsoon in Cox’s Bazar.
Rains will continue to worsen and the cyclone season will soon follow.
“The Rohingya people have faced unimaginable horror. I heard horrific stories of systematic discrimination over many years. And in the August 2017 attacks – stories of sons being separated from their fathers and killed by soldiers,” she said.
Mothers spoke of daughters being taken way, raped and killed, and of being separated from their families when fleeing from their attackers, as their homes were being burnt to the ground.