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Concern responding to worsening Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh

Press release14 September 2017

Concern Worldwide, Ireland’s largest aid agency, has announced that it will be stepping up its humanitarian response in Bangladesh as a result of the influx of Rohingya people crossing the border from Myanmar.

Close to 400,000 vulnerable Rohingyas have poured into the Cox’s Bazar area of south eastern Bangladesh ever since violence erupted in Rakhine State, Myanmar last month.

Makeshift refugee camps are at full capacity with new arrivals, many of whom are wounded with bullets, urgently needing water, food, shelter and medical assistance.

Concern is stepping up its humanitarian efforts in Bangladesh and will respond to the crisis through local partners, who plan to mobilise resources and provide assistance to 40,000 people in need.

Concern's Country Director in Bangladesh A.K.M Musha said:

Concern plans to provide humanitarian assistance to over 40,000 Rohingya people once it receives full approval from the government. Concern will then mobilise resources to support shelter, WASH and nutritional assistance to the Rohingya population.

The Irish aid agency, which has worked in Bangladesh since 1970, is already assisting thousands of people impacted by last month’s monsoon floods, which has affected 8 million people and has left impoverished families homeless.

A.K.M Musha added:

The humanitarian need in the Cox’s Bazar area is huge and there are not enough resources to cope with the ever-increasing number of Rohingyas coming into the area. Many have taken refuge in makeshift camps, host communities, and anywhere they can get shelter. People are arriving wounded, many with bullet wounds in their arms, every day. The Bangladesh government, local communities and local NGO partners, INGOS and the UN are supporting as best they can but they are also coping with the humanitarian problems following last month’s rains, floods and mudslides so the situation will get worse if they don’t receive adequate support. 

Prime Minister of Bangladesh visited the area in recent days, she spoke to the Myanmar nationals and assured her government’s support to address the humanitarian needs. She urged the international communities to put pressure on Myanmar to resolve the problem and facilitate repatriation of all the people that have taken refuge to Bangladesh. 

Concern’s Regional Director for the Middle East and Asia Brid Kennedy also added:

The Bangladesh government cannot deal with the huge influx of refugees - many of whom are in a desperate situation - on its own and it requires increased support from the international community to help with the response.

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