Without Borders: Issue 37 October – December 2017
The flight of the Rohingya has caught the world’s attention. Since 25 August, more than half a million men, women and children fled from one country to another in search of safety and respite.
The conditions of those now living in Bangladesh, having crossed from Myanmar, are dire. Many have arrived with just the clothes they happened to be wearing; they arrive scarred, wounded, traumatised.
We may never fully comprehend the experiences of those fleeing – they are too many, their stories too intense. However, there are accounts, fragments we can piece together, which reveal the depths of suffering endured and, perhaps more strikingly, the remarkable compassion people extend to one another in times of crisis simply because they too, are human – they too are suffering.
Reports of violence remain common, but there are also stories of strangers taking care of lost children, of people whose only thought is to bring their family to safety.
There is much more to be done in Bangladesh and, if possible, in Myanmar. MSF is scaling up on the ground to provide better sanitation, supplies and healthcare where possible. But this situation has once again higlighted the plight of refugees worldwide against a backdrop of international lethargy.
The Rohingya now face the full glare of the media, but we must not forget those in Libya, in the Mediterranean Sea, in Europe, and the tens of millions of people displaced in their own countries.
They too, are deserving of healthcare, of dignity. However, I remain confident that providing medical care, supplies, and a voice for refugees will affect positive change, however small that change may be.
I am also grateful to you, our supporters. Without you, we would be powerless to act in this crisis and so many others around the world.
Thank you for your support,
Mohamed Bali Executive Director Médecins Sans Frontières UAE