Dhaka (Agenzia Fides) - The return of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar "is very unlikely for now", says Caritas Bangladesh to Agenzia Fides. "Bangladesh continues to handle a massive humanitarian crisis: Since August 2017, in neighboring Myanmar, the Rohingya have been victims of extreme violence - with murders, rape and village destruction - which has caused mass displacement of refugees", says to Agenzia Fides Shiba Maria D'Rozario, Director of Communications of Caritas Bangladesh.
"Over 688,000 Rohingya have fled the state of Rakhine, bringing the total number of refugees in Bangladesh to 900,000. They need shelter, food, clean water, food, protection and security of children. Their return to Myanmar seems unlikely in the short term, also because many refugees fear for their safety", he explains to Fides.
Refugee settlements in Bangladesh, in the border area, have grown rapidly and spontaneously, creating extremely congested areas, vulnerable to flooding, landslides and other hazards. The risks are particularly high with the arrival of the cyclone season, notes D'Rozario.
Caritas Bangladesh is working with Caritas Internationalis and partner organizations such as Catholic Relief Service (CRS) to provide 265,000 people with full support and solidarity. Caritas has built 7,540 safe shelters for refugee families with the support of local artisans, and has improved over 5,800. It has provided additional support to families with specific needs, taking care of water and toilets, building 2,397 bathrooms by installing 2,419 wells with solar-powered pumps.
The training of volunteers for the education campaign continues to protect women and children from trafficking and violence. In the refugee camps, Caritas has built six child-friendly areas where children can play and attend school lessons.
In view of the cyclone season and the floods, CRS and Caritas are organizing safe settlements taking care of the construction of containment walls, barriers with sandbags and bamboo bridges in the refugee camps. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 2/7/2018)