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In Photos: Pictures capturing pain and despair of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh camps

Catch Photodesk | Updated on: 27 October 2017, 18:10 IST
A mother with her her child at the Kutupalong makeshift camp.A violent crackdown on stateless Rohingya living in Bangladesh has led thousands of people to seek safety at Kutupalong makeshift camp. (Javier Arcenillas)

For more than half a century, the Rohingyas -- a Muslim minority in Myanmar -- have fled severe repression and persecution to seek refuge in Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries. Sadly, few among them find the assistance they desperately need and are instead forced to survive in huge ‘makeshift camps’ with little or no basic amenities such as food or water. Now, increasing violence and intimidation is forcing the Rohingya to flee once again.

Since the end of August 2017, close to 520,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in the district of Cox’s Bazar in the far east of Bangladesh. There are now almost 700,000 people assembled in and around Kutupalong and Balukhali, two camps which had been set up several years ago, making it one of the largest refugee concentrations in the world. Most of the newly arrived refugees have moved into makeshift settlements without adequate access to shelter, food, clean water, or latrines.

The need of the hour is a massive scale-up of humanitarian aid in Bangladesh to avoid a huge public health disaster. Rohingya refugees fleeing to Bangladesh urgently require medical and humanitarian assistance, as an already dire humanitarian situation along the border with Myanmar worsens.

A 49-year-old father shared his story with MSF (Doctors Without Borders /Médecins Sans Frontières) of how his son was shot while the whole family was fleeing the violence. I brought him to the hospital here in Bangladesh, but left the other family members in the forest in Myanmar, in the open air, just hiding there. I haven’t heard from them for days now. I don’t know what to do, I feel so desperate.”

 

More than 200,000 people struggle to survive unrecognised and largely unassisted, vulnerable to ill health and exploitation. (Cristina De Middel)
More than 200,000 people struggle to survive unrecognised and largely unassisted, vulnerable to ill health and exploitation. (Cristina De Middel)
People in the rain at a border crossing on the Naf river, near Tekna. (Antonio Faccilongo)
Food security in and around the settlements is also incredibly fragile: newly arrived refugees are completely reliant on humanitarian aid, prices in the market are skyrocketing and the lack of roads is compromising access to the most vulnerable populations. (Antonio Faccilongo)
Most of the newly arrived refugees have moved into makeshift settlements without adequate access to shelter, food and clean water With little potable water available, people are drinking water collected from paddy fields, puddles, or hand-dug shallow wells which are often contaminated with excreta. (Antonio Faccilongo)
MSF runs a basic health programme in Kutupalong, providing much needed medical care to stateless Rohingya in Kutupalong makeshift camp and the host community. (Cristina De Middel)

Photo Curation: Sehar Qazi

First published: 27 October 2017, 13:06 IST
 
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