Love Thy Neighbour, The Rohingya Muslims

Love Thy Neighbour, The Rohingya Muslims.

Believers in Bangladesh and Pakistan have been actively advocating support for the Rohingya Muslims escaping from Myanmar, now refugees in Bangladesh. The believers are minorities in their respective countries, and are able to empathize having themselves borne the brunt of discrimination and persecution, and together with the Hindu and Buddhist minority organisations in Bangladesh, relief teams and supplies are being initiated. Despite the efforts of several NGOs involved in humanitarian assistance in the border regions between Bangladesh and Myanmar, the needs are overwhelming, as the number of refugees had swelled over 800,000 in a matter of weeks, and still growing. The latest report from the United Nations News Centre dated 31 October 2017 had this to say:

The UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that although the number of new arrivals is now slowing, people continue to arrive in the makeshift settlements of Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar every day, bringing the total Rohingya population of the district to over 820,000.

The settlements are dangerously congested and overcrowded and the pressure on sources of clean drinking water and basic sanitation are enormous. Having walked for days without water and food, the refugees arrive to the settlements exhausted and thirsty. Many are ill, IOM stated. “All of the spontaneous and makeshift sites where the Rohingya have sought shelter are in urgent need of water, sanitation and hygiene support to prevent diseases and to restore basic human dignity,” explained IOM WASH expert Antonio Torres. “Existing [sanitation and hygiene] facilities are not yet sufficient to cope with this number of people,” he noted.

IOM is providing vital relevant services to both the Rohingya and the communities hosting them, while scaling up its work to meet the needs of new arrivals. Since early September, the agency has, among others, constructed around 785 latrines for the refugees. It has also constructed 14 wells with hand pumps providing over 14,000 people with clean drinking water.

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