Amnesty urges long term support for Rohingyas in Bangladesh before UN meeting in Geneva

Amnesty urges long term support for Rohingyas in Bangladesh before UN meeting in Geneva

  News Desk,

Published: 2017-10-20 16:32:36.0 BdST Updated: 2017-10-20 16:47:27.0 BdST

Rohingya refugees, who crossed the border from Myanmar two days before, walk after they received permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue on to the refugee camps from border point at Palongkhali in Cox’s Bazar on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

The Amnesty International has urged donor countries to pledge support for Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar, who have no prospect of returning home any time soon.

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More countries, particularly those in South Asia, need to play a much bigger role and share the burden of responsibility, said the rights group said in a statement on Friday.

The call to support the nearly 600,000 new refugees from Myanmar comes before a meeting of high-level representatives at the UN office in Geneva on Monday.

“Bangladesh, a poor country which has shown extraordinary generosity, cannot be left to deal with this situation alone,” said Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director at Amnesty International. “The international community must mount a response that addresses both their immediate and long-term needs,” he said.

Listing the urgent needs being felt at the camps, it said Rohingyas who walk for days to reach the border should be given transport to camps.

For the children who make up 61 percent of the new arrivals, life-saving assistance for curing cases of severe acute malnutrition and schooling was urgently required, said the Amnesty statement.  Further medical response is needed to protect camp populations from the risk of diseases such as cholera due to poor water and sanitation conditions.

There should also be safe spaces for women in the camps that are overcrowded and require “adequate land and infrastructure” to allow site planning, which can enhance aid access and reduce chances of conflict, the statement added.

“Donors should think longer term when it comes to Rohingya refugees. The scale of this humanitarian crisis is such that the international community is continuously failing to anticipate the response needed,” said Charmain Mohamed, the Amnesty’s head of Refugee and Migrant Rights.

“Bangladeshi authorities and humanitarian groups are in a desperate scramble to scale up their operations. They must be helped not just over the next few months, but for as long as it remains unsafe for people to return home voluntarily and with safety and dignity.”

The pledging conference to take place in Geneva on Monday is focused on the humanitarian needs in Bangladesh, but the world community must not forget to push for aid access for victims of the crisis unfolding in Myanmar, he said.

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Posted in International, Media, Myanmar, Publication, Report, Rohingya

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