LONDON – UK charities have launched a major fundraising campaign to help Rohingya Muslims fleeing death and atrocities in Burma, as the risk of death roamed around their new refugee homes in Bangladesh.
“People are arriving exhausted and traumatized into already overcrowded camps in Bangladesh. This is one of the fastest movements of people we have seen in recent decades,” the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) chief executive Saleh Saeed said, the Independent reported on Tuesday, October 3.
“Families are living in makeshift shelters or by the side of the road with no clean drinking water, toilets or washing facilities. This humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in a country that is already reeling from the worst floods in decades,” he added.
More than 500,000 members of the Rohingya Muslim minority have fled from western Rakhine state to Bangladesh to escape a military offensive which the United Nations has branded a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
More than 1,000 people may already have been killed in Burma, mostly minority Rohingya Muslims, a senior United Nations representative told AFP.
The 13 member charities, who make up the DEC, took action to step up their humanitarian relief in the wake of more than half-a-million people seeking medical care, food and sanctuary.
“Without urgent support, the risk of disease and further misery is alarmingly high,” Saeed said.