2467 Rohingya Refugees in Rathedaung Feared May Starve And Have Had No Health Care For Years
January 21, 2017
Rathedaung, Arakan – Rohingya IDPs (internally displaced people) living in two camps in Rathedaung Township of Arakan State are at risk of starvation and have not had access to healthcare for years. The refugees are suffering inadequate clothing for the cold season as well.
187 families from Koe Tan Kauk village and 255 families from Chain Khali village in Rathedaung Township have been living in IDP camps since June of 2012.
In both camps the total number of IDPs is 2,467 people who have not received any rations from the World Food Programme since November of last year. Moreover, the local authorities ordered those inside the camps not work beyond the boundaries of the camp. Now the IDPs are facing a food shortage and have no ability to earn any income at all, according to IDPs in the camp.
Additionally, the IDPs are lacking clothing warm enough for the cold season and the people in the camps are developing colds, coughing and there are reports of complications for individuals with blood pressure problems.
Since June of 2012 the IDPs received healthcare a total of 5 times that was provided by an NGO called MHAA in 2015. The NGO visited the camp once a month for five months. Since then no other healthcare has been provided and those living in the camps are unable to seek treatment outside the camp due to the restrictions of movement.
The IDPs said they believed the government was intentionally keeping them without rations and access to healthcare so they will die from starvation so the security forces won’t need to use bullets to kill them. Whether their suspicions are correct is impossible to confirm, but without proper access to aid and healthcare the effects may ultimately be the same and motives will be irrelevant.
While facing these difficulties the authorities conducted a population count two months ago. Since January 18th, 2017 the camp leader, Abdul Rokim, has been collecting 1000 Kyat from each family as a fee for photographing them during the authorities population count.
|Chain Khali IDP Camp in Rathedaung|