Rohingya influx in Bangladesh

Rohingyas arrive exhausted, hungry and usually with nothing more than clothes on their back. Photo: ICRC

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Among the new arrivals are large numbers of children, many of them unaccompanied or separated from their families.

Around 2,000 Rohingyas are arriving in Cox’s Bazar of Bangladesh everyday, reports India Today.

A press release of International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said, the new arrivals has brought the total number of Rohingyas to cross into Bangladesh at around 515,000.

Observers believe that as many as 100,000 more people may be waiting to cross into Cox’s Bazar from North Rakhine’s Buthidaung Township. Many of the Rohingyas arrive in Teknaf – Cox’s Bazar’s southernmost upazila – but then move north to Ukhiya and then towards vast, teeming makeshift settlements of Kutupalong, Balukhali and neighboring satellite sites.

They arrive exhausted, hungry and usually with nothing more than clothes on their back. They walk for days and brave dangerous water bodies. Many show signs of malnutrition.
On Thursday, Nunavet, 70, walked aimlessly through Kutupalong, tired and in desperation. The frail, skeletal old lady was hungry. Her face, etched with deep wrinkles, spoke not just of fatigue, but of a life of hardship endured over the years. Overcoming the language barrier, she mumbled through her ailments, pointing to her empty stomach, aching back and sore feet.
IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week appealed to the international community to provide USD 120 million aid for Rohingyas who have flooded into Cox’s Bazar over the past six weeks. It aims to target 450,000 individuals (90,000 households) over the next six months.
The IOM appeal is part of a broader humanitarian response plan seeking USD 434 million to help 1.2 million people, including the Bangladeshi host community.
The Malaysian government sent 29 metric tonnes of relief materials for the Rohingyas in Bangladesh on Saturday. A Malaysian cargo flight carrying relief materials arrived at Chittagong Shah Amanat International Airport this morning.
Additional Deputy Commissioner (Education and ICT) Habibur Rahman received the relief materials from Malaysian High Commission Official Ibrahim Jurry Bin Mohammad Younus, district administration sources said.
The humanitarian assistance would be distributed among the refugees who are encamped in hundreds of shelters of bordering points of Ukhia, Teknaf and Naikkhanchari upazilas by Bangladesh Army, the sources added.
Earlierm too, the Malaysian government had sent 12 metric tonnes of relief material on September 9.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee – UNHCR, is urgently seeking USD 83.7 million in additional funds for the next six months to help more than half a million Rohingyas in Bangladesh.
The emergency assistance is focused on Rohingya protection, shelter, water and sanitation and bolstering the capacity of the local host communities across south-east Bangladesh.
“Relieving dramatic overcrowding in the two existing camps – Kutupalong and Nayapara – which are now twice their population prior to the latest crisis – is also a priority, not least as Rohingya numbers are still growing,” said UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic at a press briefing in Geneva, according to the state own news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.
Among the new arrivals are large numbers of children, many of them unaccompanied or separated from their families. More than half the new arrivals are women, including mothers with small children or infants. There are also many elderly and people with disabilities.
“Illness, injuries and trauma as a result of extreme violence, torture and sexual abuse exacerbate the hardships. Many have lost family, relatives and friends.
BSS reported that, The UNHCR spokesman also said in addition to protection, shelter and sanitation work in south-east Bangladesh, the UN Refugee Agency have so far organised five airlifts, flying in some 500 metric tonnes of aid.
UNHCR’s supplementary appeal is meant to meet urgent additional requirements from September 2017, through to February 2018, said Andrej Mahecic.