Dacca –Caritas Bangladesh is mobilised to offer humanitarian assistance in Rakhine state to 14,000 Rohingya refugees families fleeing Myanmar, Fides learns from Catholic lay man Francio Atul Sarker, Caritas Bangladesh executive director. “Presently there are about 400,000 Rohingya refugees – says Sirkar – but if the flow of new arrivals continues, the figure will reach 500.000 before the end of the month. We have concluded a first emergency aid effort and are preparing for a second. We have the support of Caritas Internationalis: for example 100,000 euro supplied by Caritas Spain has enabled us to provide each family with a food parcel of rice, vegetables, oil, salt, sugar and water, as well as a small sum of money to purchase basic necessities”.
“A considerable number of refugees –Director Sarker continues –camped in the border town of Cox's Bazar in makeshift dwellings or in the open, is totally dependent on humanitarian aid. Supplies of clean water are running out and the health situation is far from good. Over 200,000 Rohingya children risk disease and are in serious need of help. It should be said that, as confirmed by UNICEF, 60% of those fleeing are children
Immediate needs assessed by Caritas Bangladesh include clean water, food, medical care, shelters, medicines, measures to protect minors. Arrived in Bangladesh in the last decade, almost half a million Rohingya live in two registered settlements and the Bengalese government intends to open a third camp at Tyingkhali for new arrivals. Local NGOs are in action but initiatives are fragmented. Caritas Bangladesh, having obtained a permit from the government office for NGOs, plans to distribute food supplies and non-food aid including health kits. >>