THE CHARITY Human Appeal has been supplying aid to the Rohingya people in refugee camps on the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh for nearly a year now – and the need is growing rather than diminishing.
The crisis has been growing for months and is now severe as the Myanmar military are stepping up their efforts to harass more and more Rohingya to flee. However, persecution of the Rohingya – a minority Muslim population in a largely Buddhist country – for decades. Discrimination is enshrined within the state – with the Rohingya barred from state education and many of the professions.
It is hard to assess just how bad the situation is at present, as the Myanmar authorities are not allowing UN investigator access to assess what is happening on the ground. However, information gleaned from satellite sources and from recent refugees suggest that between 400 and 1,000 people have died. Whole villages have been torched, leaving their inhabitants to flee for their lives with just the clothes they stand up in.
The recent surge of refugees – estimated at over 250,000 over the last couple of months – has swollen the numbers of those living in the refugee camps on the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh, and conditions are deteriorating. There are not enough resources to share, leaving families at risk of hunger and malnutrition. Sanitary and refuse systems are overwhelmed, putting the refugees at risk of disease. A cholera epidemic could kill thousands.
The Myanmar Government has been criticised by the UN and even accused of carrying out ethnic cleansing. This may have shaken the Government a little, but it is unlikely to stop their persecution of the Rohingya. The exodus is not over yet.
Human Appeal is trying to provide basic necessities such as food, water and blankets for those in the refugee camps. A donation of £65 will feed a family for a month, and one of £100 will buy an emergency kit which might save a life.
Human Appeal Myanmar Emergency Appeal
•Information from Human Appeal