Caritas appeals for aid – Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh


Global Catholic charity Caritas Internationalis is appealing for help.

It needs to raise US$7 million to aid Rohingya refugees.

The refugees are victims of conflicts in Myanmar.

“We must not forget the Rohingya people or take the support of the Bangladesh Government for granted” says Alistair Dutton, Caritas’s secretary general.

Help the most vulnerable

Rohingya families are “among the most vulnerable people in our world today without the right to work” Dutton told media on 6 June.

He had just returned from visiting Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, the world’s largest refugee settlement.

Over a million Rohingya refugees from neighbouring civil war-hit Myanmar are existing at the camp.

Teenagers “have now spent half of their life in camps” he said.

Global aid is desperately needed.

Pope Francis is renewing appeals to solve the Rohingyas’ refugee crisis. He met a Rohingya group during his visit to Bangladesh in 2017.

However, global aid for the refugees has decreased with other emergencies like the Ukraine war and the Palestine conflict taking centre stage.

Caritas Bangladesh says global funds to meet refugees’ food expenses have reduced from $12 to $10 per month per person. Bangladesh is facing a foreign currency crisis and skyrocketing inflation.

Caritas plans to give the Rohingya community $7 million in aid this year.

Since 2017, Caritas has spent $45 million on Rohingya refugees and host community members in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh does not allow the refugees to work and their mobility is restricted within the camps.

Stateless child refugees

“Over the past six years, more than 200,000 children have been born in these camps” Dutton says.

They are stateless; they have never seen their home country and have no nationality.

How the aid is used

Dutton says temporary camps made of bamboo and plastic sheets can perish quickly.

There have also been two fires in the past fortnight that damaged hundreds of camps.

In the Rohingyas’ home state on the southeastern Bangladesh border, the United Nations says 15,000 Rohingyas have taken shelter.

Caritas Asia says Caritas is working with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and India to help repatriate Rohingya refugees.

Given the current situation in Myanmar, repatriation is unlikely Dutton said.

In Myanmar Dutton plans to meet leaders of the bishops’ conference where Caritas runs similar aid programmes for refugees.


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