Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) has announced a support and emergency response to the humanitarian crisis resulting from the displacement of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya escaping the escalating violence in the Rakhine State in Myanmar in cooperation with the Qatar Red Crescent.
Qatar Red Crescent, meanwhile, is preparing to launch an urgent campaign to support the basic needs for refugees in the areas of health, shelter, food and non-food supplies.
Qatar was among the first countries to immediately provide assistance and support after the outbreak of violence in Myanmar, that has led to deteriorating humanitarian conditions and the increasing number of refugees fleeing to Bangladesh, which is exposed to rainfall and seasonal floods. In addition, 50,000 people are trapped in the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
Director General of the Qatar Fund for Development, Khalifa bin Jassim al-Kuwari said that this support stems from Qatar’s commitment towards vulnerable peoples who need quick humanitarian support. He added that Qatar Fund for Development is keen on providing humanitarian and relief assistance to the neediest people around the world without discrimination.
He noted that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced that at least 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the Rakhine State in Myanmar within 15 days of the outbreak of violence. The violence has led to the displacement of thousands of Rohingya population to Bangladesh, which constitutes a new “humanitarian disaster”. Al-Kuwari underlined that Qatar will not hesitate to provide support to alleviate the suffering of the Rohingya who are in desperate need of assistance, and to provide a decent life for refugees in Bangladesh.
For his part, Secretary-General of Qatar Red Crescent Ali bin Hassan Al-Hammadi said that the partnership between the Qatar Fund for Development and QRC in many relief tasks is based on mutual cooperation in the interests of affected families and communities. He commended the support provided by Qatar Fund for the relief efforts for Rohingya refugees fleeing violence to Bangladesh. Al-Hammadi noted that the Fund’s support comes as Qatar Red Crescent is preparing to launch an urgent emergency call in response to the urgent needs of the refugees, which includes providing materials including shelter, health bags, mobile clinics, besides other programmes and projects.
Qatar Red Crescent team is coordinating with officials at the Qatari embassy in Bangladesh to discuss the political and diplomatic situation of the crisis. The team also held successive meetings with Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, the International Federation of Societies and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in order to review the latest developments and the most important needs. The team also paid field visits to sites hosting refugees in the Cox Bazar area for coordination and assessing the emergency needs. The team has already begun to implement the emergency response plan developed in the light of available information, including support for the operation of mobile clinics in refugee-hosting areas, the provision of shelter materials and non-food assistance for the protection of the affected people and the preservation of their dignity and privacy, the distribution of hygiene kits and water, and the provision of water for drinking and personal use.
The squatter camps in Kutupalong have had a large inflow of refugees, with the number of refugees in these camps exceeding 300,000 during the 15 days since the outbreak of violence; the United Nations has announced that it expects more.
Refugees live at random sites and on roadsides in areas that lack basic services such as latrines and personal hygiene items, which may cause epidemics such as diarrhoea, skin rashes, high temperatures and colds.
There is an urgent need for the creation of spaces for accommodating the enormous numbers of refugees, the provision of emergency shelter and non-food items, and the provision of training on shelter-building mechanisms, as the hurricane season approaches in November and winter in December.
Furthermore, health care services should be provided including vaccines to new refugees, especially children and medicines. The communicable disease control system should be developed and the referral system should be improved. Supplementary food and malnutrition treatments should be provided and local kitchens should be supported to ensure providing food to refugees.