No Food, No Shelter, Rohingya Suffer in Bangladesh

No Food, No Shelter, Rohingya Suffer in BangladeshNo Food, No Shelter, Rohingya Suffer in Bangladesh

Hundreds of Rohingya, including children, were jostling to get hold of aid packages being thrown from trucks at Balukhali in the Bangladeshi city of Cox’s Bazar bordering Myanmar.

Women, many with babies on their shoulders, stood in torrential rain in the hope of getting food, tarpaulins and clothes distributed by local Bangladeshis, Al Jazeera reported.

Chaos was all around at Balukhali, where a large number of Rohingya have taken refuge, as the rain added to the misery of the persecuted community.

Highlighting the grave conditions for Rohingya refugees, aid agencies reported on September 15 that at least two children and one woman were killed in a stampede that broke out as aid was being distributed.

More than half of the estimated 412,000 Rohingya who have escaped Myanmar’s military crackdown live in makeshift sites without proper shelter, clean drinking water and sanitation.

On Sunday, police and army officials were checking vehicles coming from the camps towards Cox’s Bazar city, a day after the Bangladesh government announced restrictions on the refugees’ movement.

Arefa, along with hundreds of fellow Rohingya, was among the crowd waiting for the much-needed aid.

She was drenched, holding her two-year-old daughter Minara on her shoulder. Arefa was crying. She said there was no food for her and her two children.

“I do not have food, no shelter and no way to cook anything. I have yet to get any relief,” she said with tears pouring down. “If I get aid I eat, otherwise I go hungry.”

Myanmar’s military launched a bloody crackdown on ethnic Rohingya, who are mostly Muslims, after an armed Rohingya group carried out a deadly attack against the army.

Since then the army has killed more than 400 people and driven out hundreds of thousands from the western Rakhine State, creating one of the biggest refugee crises of recent times.

Distressed Rohingya have built shanties made of tarpaulin and bamboo sticks on sandy hillocks and in open spaces, as there is limited space in the registered camps run by national and international NGOs.


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