The Rohingya Crisis
The Rohingya are an ethnic and religious minority in Myanmar, who are facing what the UN has termed “classic ethnic cleansing.” Despite the fact that the Rohingya had lived in the Rhokine State for many years, the passage of 1982 Citizens Act failed to recognize them as citizens of Myanmar. For the last several decades, this stateless minority had been driven out of their country with many waves of Rohingya fleeing across the border to Bangladesh from the 1970s to current time to set up refugee camps in Cox's Bazar. An estimate of 200,000 refugees lived there before violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, a military crackdown which began on 25 August 2017 drove an estimated 600,000 Rohingya across the border.
This exodus and influx of refugees has created a humanitarian crisis of epic proportion in terms of the rapid scaling of shelters, water and sanitation,safety and healthcare. Now in addition to the official camps, several makeshift extension camps cropped up over the hills around Cox's Bazar on the southern tip of Bangladesh.The landscape round the official Kutupalong Camp has been transformed from forested hillsides and valleys to a denuded one and tarp houses with bamboo supports now dotted these areas. The rapid influx of refugees create a tremendous stress not only on the environment, but also the economy in this part of Bangladesh, the infrastructure of the makeshift camps; many have limited access to clean water, latrines and medical care. Partnering with a local Bangladesh NGO, the Hope Foundation, MedGlobal has groups of volunteers healthcare workers from overseas to run the clinic set up bu Hope at the southern tip of he camps providing medical care for the Rohingya. Our group which arrived on Friday January 5th consisted of seven doctors and a nurse, who would begin to work the following day.