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World

REUTERS
April 17, 2018

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Conditions worsening for Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar ahead of rains

Conditions worsening for Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar ahead of rains

GENEVA: Conditions in crowded camps in Cox´s Bazar in Bangladesh have deteriorated for nearly 700,000 Rohingya as aid workers race to strengthen shelters ahead of monsoon season, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.

Steve McAndrew, head of its emergency operations in the coastal area, said its clinics were scaling up to combat possible outbreaks of cholera and other water-borne diseases feared with the rains that could arrive this month. Desperation has grown among the Muslim Rohingya, who fled a military crackdown last August in Myanmar´s Rakhine state and many see scant chance of returning, he said in an interview on Monday. “It´s hot, it´s hard to find water and food, and the conditions are getting worse. And they are going to continue to get worse as the rainy season comes and then we have a monsoon season and cyclone season,” McAndrew told Reuters at Federation headquarters in Geneva.

“The situation is getting worse, and it´s open-ended and there is no end in sight,” he said. The UN refugee agency UNHCR said last week conditions in Myanmar were not ready for a safe return of the Rohingya.

Rohingya are fleeing a “horrendous” situation, McAndrew said, while declining to apportion blame. “People are losing their families, their villages are being destroyed. A lot of the people are saying they don´t even want to know what´s going on back home anymore.

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