Since August 2017, an estimated 860,000 Rohingya Muslims have escaped inconceivable violence in their home country of Myanmar. Fleeing the violence, and walking long distances with little food, water or rest, many families had to turn their backs on their homes, land, and livelihoods. The displaced people include a large number of very young children, and the journey is lonely and terrifying for them as they travel alone having lost their family during the violence.
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THE ROHINGYA MUSLIM CRISIS
LIFE IN THE REFUGEE CAMPS
It’s been three years since the crisis started and chances of resolution are slim. These displaced people are now facing new challenges in the refugee camps set up in Bangladesh. The camps are over-populated and chaotic with poor sanitation, inadequate food and basic supplies. An overwhelming percentage of those taking refuge in the camps are children – (over 50%) and are in need of protection from physical violence, sexual abuse, child labour, separation from care givers and child marriages. Scarcity of nutritious food has left more than 30% of the refugee children with stunted growth and weakened immune systems.
The camps are heavily concentrated, where a family of five or more are squeezed into a 10 by 16 foot shelter. Sanitation and hygiene is poor, with 20 people sharing a shabby outdoor toilet. Due to the hot climate, and frequent wind-blown dust, respiratory issues are common amongst children and adults. Children, in particular suffer from diarrhoea, skin diseases and infections frequently.
Furthermore, Rohingya children aged 3 to 14 have no access to any form of education and are growing up to be illiterate. 90% of the children aged 14-24 also have no access to educational or vocational training.
HOW WE HELP
Refugees depend upon food rations, safe drinking water and accessible medical support to survive. In the time of pandemic, there is a lack of resources and medical facilities to treat infected patients. ATI has been involved with food aid projects, distributed sanitary and hygiene kits and set up schools for the refugee children in Cox’s Bazaar refugee camp.