Oxfam is now providing clean water, sanitation, and shelter to Rohingya people who have fled to Bangladesh.
Fleeing conflict in Myanmar, nearly 480,000 people have crossed into Bangladesh since August 25, doubling the number of people seeking refuge in the south east of the country. Of these, it is estimated that over 340,000 have inadequate shelter and about 240,000 have no clean water. Every day, thousands of people are making the dangerous journey across the border, and because of restricted access in northern Rakhine, it’s not known how many more are missing or trapped.
Women, children, older people, and people with disabilities are among those taking shelter. They are facing extreme challenges, with many living without protection and under open skies. They have little or no access to clean drinking water, food supplies, sanitation facilities, and other basic needs. A significant number were wounded while crossing the border, are physically and emotionally traumatized, and are in urgent need of life-saving humanitarian aid.
“In Bangladesh, Oxfam has started to respond to the immediate needs of the people fleeing conflict by working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM),” said Lan Mercado, Oxfam in Asia Regional Director. “We are providing containers for clean drinking water, portable toilets and sanitation facilities, plastic sheets, and other essential Non-Food Items (NFIs). Oxfam calls on all authorities to guarantee humanitarian access to all civilians and ensure their protection from ongoing conflict. There is an urgent need to scale up humanitarian assistance for the people.”
The existing camps in Bangladesh are ill-equipped to handle the huge numbers of people. People need shelter, clean water, toilets and food urgently. Women, children, older people and those with disabilities are especially vulnerable. Oxfam’s response has reached nearly 100,000 people with clean drinking water, emergency toilets, water pumps and food rations. Oxfam is planning to help more than 200,000 people during the first phase of its response. Oxfam is also supporting the government and humanitarian partners to ensure camps newly established will meet the necessary humanitarian standards
“People face a desperate situation,” said M B Akhter, Interim Country Director, Oxfam in Bangladesh. “They have no clean drinking water and no food. They are homeless and hungry following a long and treacherous journey across the border. Many are now sleeping under open skies, by roadsides and in forests, with no protection.”
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