Life Crisis: The Perilous Journey of Rohingya Refugees
Extreme violence in Myanmar has forced Rohingya families to flee the state. Homes and fields have been set on fire; family members have been killed and the intensity continues. On 25 August 2017, Myanmar’s military and local militia launched a wave of “clearance operations.” This was allegedly in response to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army in Rakhine state that turned into widespread violence against civilians. More than 700,000 Rohingya people have fled across the border since August to escape a brutal military crackdown and have poured into Bangladesh. The momentum and scale of arrivals make this the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis. Over 1,400 children have arrived by themselves after witnessing the deaths of their parents and loved ones. Families are in urgent need of life-saving food assistance, water, sanitation, shelter, health and support. The influx of refugees is expected to continue and the small region of Bangladesh does not have the capacity to support them.
I had the privilege of personally distributing donations from my friends and myself in the Rohingya refugee camps. I have gone from dwelling to dwelling helping mainly women with children, older women and children who lost their parents. More than 1500 families received much-needed cash in their life crisis moment.