An emergency response team from the Qatar Red Crescent has reached the Rohingya camps established by the Government of Myanmar several kilometers away from Sittwe, the city where violence broke out between Alrakain Buddhist and Rohingya Muslims groups in June 2012 to assess and identify the humanitarian needs.
The violence has resulted in more than 300 people being killed, over 3000 homes burned and 70.000 persons displaced and scattered in dozens of camps in several villages in Rakhine province according to reports by the United Nations.
Other human rights organizations suggests that the number of refugees might be bigger, though it is hard to detect the accurate number of displaced people due to the absence of a systematic recording system and the restrictions imposed by the local authorities in the province.
QRC’s emergency response team has identified immediate humanitarian needs in the camps. Initial information indicates that malaria, diarrhea, and eye and skin diseases have begun to spread among refugees due to absence of sanitation and hygiene, and safe shelters coupled with the heavy rainfall and swamps formation.
As an initial response, QRC distributed food and non-food materials such as bed sheets, plastic sheets as well as mosquito nets to reduce the spread of malaria for 400 families.
QRC aims to meet the immediate and short term needs at the camps in coordination with the Myanmar Red Cross (MRC), the only National Society that provides services in the refugee camps. Together with the MRC, the QRC will work to provide urgent health relief by operating a number of mobile clinics in the camp areas, apart from undertaking health awareness sessions, contributing to fight the spread of mosquitoes, and implementing a temporary shelter programme as the information from the field indicates that the local authorities do not intend to return the refugees to their homes in Sittwe any time soon for fear of renewed violence.
It is worth mentioning that QRC had contributed to the relief of those affected by Myanmar Nargis Cyclone in 2008 sending relief items worth US $ 300,000.
About Qatar Red Crescent Society:
Established in 1978, the Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRC) is a humanitarian organization that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination. Based in Doha, Qatar, QRC is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and operates both locally and internationally. It has ongoing international relief and development projects in a number of countries throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa, as well as Europe. With the help of a vast network of trained and committed staff and volunteers, its vision is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.
For more information, please contact Mrs. Rajaa Saleh, Director of General Communications at Qatar Red Crescent Society. Tel: (+974) 5589-8960