Since 25 August, thousands of Rohingya refugees have crossed into Bangladesh in monsoon rains, fleeing Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar.
For days, over 6,900 Rohingya refugees were stranded in desperate conditions on a mucky strip of no-man’s land in Anjuman Para on Bangladesh’s side of the border.
Yesterday (19/20), the stranded refugees were moved into the Ukhia and Teknaf sub-districts of Cox’s Bazar by the Bangladesh military. They are now in settlements where, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and its partners are providing lifesaving assistance to them and over 500,000 more refugees. Exhausted, hungry and scared, they walked for days from villages in Myanmar’s North Rakhine State to Anjuman Para.
Men carried tired children and old people in baskets on shoulder poles, together with whatever meager possessions they had managed to salvage from their homes. Some children carried their younger siblings on their backs and women trudged through the mud with infants in their arms under enduring heavy rain.
Now that these refugees are in the settlements, it does not mean their troubles are over. Overcrowding, lack of access to basic services and security are major concerns in the sprawling makeshift settlements.
The Bangladesh Government are committed to continuing to shelter vulnerable Rohingya seeking protection. They are also willing to consider additional options for the settlement of the new arrivals, including the creation of more manageable, smaller camps to alleviate public health and security concerns.
Humanitarian agencies continue to struggle to support the growing needs of thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, who only want one thing - safety.