In little more than a month, over 600,000 Rohingyas have been forced to evacuate, fleeing from mass atrocities, torture and extermination. Crossing the border from the Rakhine State in Myanmar t into Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, they are hoping to find salvation. António Guterres (UN Secretary General) described it as “the world’s fastest developing refugee emergency and a humanitarian and human rights nightmare”.
Many have witnessed horrific scenes and endured perilous journeys, having run from arson, kidnapping, rape, false arrests, forced disappearances and summary execution. Separated in the chaos, many are unaware if their loved-ones are alive or dead or where to begin their search.
Terrified and desperate, they have nothing. No home. No medicine. No food.
These traumatized people need your help.
The needs are huge. Since October, we are in the field to serve the Rohingyas.
In the first 2 weeks, our immediate response, facilitated by the mobilization of 50 of our staff has been to bring food, build bridges to ease the reception of Rohingyas, set up 4 clinics, a mobile pathology ambulance and a water tank for providing safe drinking water. The needs are huge and we need to reinforce our actions thus far; involve the communities and thus bring about appropriate solutions. In the coming weeks, we will concentrate our efforts on setting up maternity clinics, deep tube wells, latrines, bathing spaces, dry food, nutritional support for mothers and babies, solar power for clinics and on creating social spaces.
To bring about these solutions we urgently need to mobilize supplementary resources support. Every little bit helps.
How can human beings do this to each other?
“I’ve been working in disaster management for over 20 years but I’ve never seen such cruelty. I have always kept myself professional and emotion-free but this time I couldn’t hold back my tears. These are human beings that are being tormented and human beings are doing it to them!” states one of Friendship’s senior development workers.
Friendship already has Health and Disaster Management activities within Cox’s Bazar (a coastal area of Bangladesh where many Rohingya are located). Given our presence in the area and the recent influx of people, we have already started relief work in the camps and plan to increase our efforts to help these families. Among other initiatives, we’re setting up clinics and birthing centers, installing tube wells, installing latrines, setting up solar-powered lighting (particularly for the safety of women, children and the clinics), building social areas to help victims overcome trauma and also building bridges to improve infrastructure and access.