Averting a catastrophe

Sep 8, 2017
It is important now to scale up our efforts
There are approximately 200,000 Rohingya refugees within the borders of Bangladesh, and these people are in need of food, water, shelter, and medicine.
And while the Myanmar government may have turned its back its basic humanitarian obligations, it is good to know that Bangladesh has not.
Let us leave politics aside for the moment — the Rohingya have come into Bangladeshi land because they have nowhere else to go, because they are facing death in the own homeland.
Our government has recognised its moral responsibility now to tend to the needs of these refugees, and avert a potential humanitarian catastrophe.
To that end, a camp has been set up, as well as the World Food Program and the International Organisation for Migration, but there continues to be a need for food, as we cannot in good conscience let people starve in large numbers.
And with thousands of Rohingya in desperate need for medical care, we are faced with a potential health crisis on a scale hitherto unseen, as many refugees have violence-related injuries, or severely infected wounds, or advanced obstetric complications.
The fact that they are forced to live in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions only exacerbates the problem — some new arrivals are setting up camp wherever they can with a bit of plastic sheeting, and are fully exposed to the elements.
It is, therefore important now to scale up our efforts to provide nutrition, clean drinking water, and medical attention to these camps, and ease the hardships of the Rohingya a little bit.
We believe our government will rise to the occasion.
Dhaka Tribune, September 8, 2017

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