Rohingya emergency one year on: UN says thousands of lives saved, but challenges remain

© UNFPA Bangladesh/Carly Learson Rohingya refugees are still living in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh a year after they fled Myanmar.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Significant progress has been made in protecting hundreds of thousands Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in the 12 months since they fled violence in Myanmar, but lives “will once again be at risk” if funding is not urgently secured, UN officials said on Friday.

Dr. Peter Salama, Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response for the UN World Health Organization (WHO) told journalists in Geneva that “thousands of lives” had been saved so far, thanks to the joint efforts of the Bangladesh Government, WHO and partners.

Deadly disease outbreaks have also been held at bay in Cox’s Bazar despite “all the conditions being in place for a massive epidemic”, he said, noting that outbreaks of measles, diphtheria, polio, cholera and rubella have been contained thanks to preventive inoculation campaigns that have required four million doses of vaccine.

“We need to sustain the vigilance for early warnings of infectious diseases,” Dr. Salama said. “That is still a major risk due to the environmental situation, the poor sanitation, the massive overcrowding, the way these people are being housed and we need to maintain our ability to scale-up outbreak response as required.”

His call to scale up help was echoed in Geneva by IOM, the UN migration agency, spokesperson Joel Millman.

“This was the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world and the challenges have been immense,” he said, highlighting comments by the agency’s Chief of Mission in Bangladesh Giorgi Gigauri. “Countless lives have been saved thanks to the generosity of the Government of Bangladesh, the local community and donor s and the hard work of all those involved in the humanitarian response. But we now face the very real threat that if more funding is not urgently secured, lives will once again be at risk.”

One year on from the exodus sparked by a military operation likened to ethnic cleansing by UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, more than 720,000 Rohingya people have arrived in Cox’s Bazar in southern Bangladesh.

They have joined an estimated 200,000 Rohingya refugees who were previously displaced.

One of the camps, Kutupalong, shelters more than 600,000 refugees, making it the largest and most densely populated refugee settlement in the world, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In addition to the challenge of providing people’s basic needs – shelter, water and sanitation and healthcare – the agency has carried out huge engineering work to reduce the risk of landslides and flooding.

This also involved mobilizing and training hundreds of refugee volunteers to serve as first responders in the event of a natural disaster, although the camps have largely withstood the adverse weather.

Many of them suffered gender-based violence “either prior or during the course of their flight” from Myanmar, WHO’s Dr. Salama said, adding that only one fifth of them will give birth in a suitable healthcare facility.

Partner agency UNHCR also underlined the calls for the international community to step up support for the Rohingya, who are stateless and unable to return to Myanmar.

This is despite the UN’s signing of an official Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Myanmar in June, to help establish conditions conducive for the safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingya.

According to OCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the mainly Muslim Rohingya communities that have stayed in Rakhine state require urgent – and in some cases lifesaving – help.

Some 660,000 people are in need across Rakhine state including more than 176,000 in Northern Rakhine, OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said.

“We stand ready to go there as soon as access allows,” he added.” Most humanitarian organizations that have been working in Northern Rakhine state for years have still not been able to resume programmes and services for these population which are some of the most vulnerable in the world.”

To date, the $950 million Rohingya 2018 appeal is only just over 30 per cent funded.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The importance of exchanges for the medical students of the world

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization

Brexit negotiations: Can May’s Britain bounce back?

France-Germany: Divided in Europe, USA united in…Iran

Technology is delivering better access to financial services. Here’s how

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

How will the EU face the migration crisis when the Turkish threats come true?

Draghi indirectly accuses Germany of using double standards in financial issues

‘Well-being of two million’ in Gaza at stake as emergency fuel runs dry: UN humanitarian coordinator

This AI can predict your personality just by looking at your eyes

G20 LIVE: The European Sting covers online world news and the latest developments at G20 from Antalya Turkey

“The Belt and Road Initiative should be mutually beneficial for EU and China and every participating country”, Vice-President Papadimoulis of the European Parliament underscores from European Business Summit 2018

The Monetary Union drives Europe into dangerous paths, CoR demands an EMU of regional content

Europe’s dirty air kills 400,000 people every year

A Sting Exclusive live from Brussels: Solheim’s consequential visit leading the world and the UN

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

Better air pollution data is helping us all breathe easier. Here’s how

Education expenditure in the EU not hurt much by crisis

South Sudan’s foreseen genocide: from “Never Again” to “Again and Again and Again”?

In Finland, speeding tickets are linked to your income

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

Horse meat runs faster than authorities…

As Saudi women take the wheel, UN chief hopes end of driving ban creates more opportunities for kingdom’s women and girls

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

Eurozone recession subsides

What have the banks done to the markets making them unable to bear cheap oil?

Banks promise easing of credit conditions in support of the real economy

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Deeper reforms in Germany will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

Catalan Pro-Independence vote: how many hits can Brussels sustain at the same time?

A Trumpist squad shook Davos and the world

Where is Egypt leading the Middle East and the Mediterranean economy?

The US bugged Europe: Is this news?

EU-wide rules for safety of drones approved by European Parliament

Migration crisis update: The “Habsburg Empire” comes back to life while EU loses control

It’s Trump’s anti-globalization and inward-looking rhetoric that perturbs GOP and US

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

The fat from your next takeaway meal could help clean up global shipping

China is adding a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeks

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

Act now to end violence, Zeid urges Nicaraguan authorities

Gender equality and medicine in the 21st century: an equity unachieved

US and Mexico child deportations drive extreme violence and trauma: UNICEF

Israel @ MWC14: Israel The Start App Nation

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

This Syrian national has been trapped at Kuala Lumpur airport for 3 months

Draghi: Germany has to spend if Eurozone is to exit recession

Who can compel Wallonia to unlock CETA, the EU-Canada free trade pack?

Cryptocurrency mining could become the new face of energy storage. Here’s how

Switzerland to favour EU citizens in immigration quotas as the risk of a new referendum looms

This is what you need to know about the Iran nuclear deal

OECD sees global growth moderating as uncertainties intensify

Humanitarian visas to avoid refugees’ deaths

Eurozone: There is a remedy for regional convergence

How robotics can help humanitarians bridge the digital divide

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s