Chi­nese aid helps Myan­mar refugees

Half a mil­lion Ro­hingyas flee coun­try due to fresh vi­o­lence

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

DHAKA — Habiba nar­rowly es­caped vi­o­lence in Myan­mar and man­aged to flee to Bangladesh, leav­ing all of her be­long­ings be­hind in her moth­er­land. She left her home in a vil­lage in the vi­o­lence-rid­den dis­trict of Rakhine, in west­ern Myan­mar, which bor­ders Bangladesh, on Sept 30, af­ter her hus­band was killed along with scores of oth­ers.

Habiba, who uses a sin­gle name, is one of more than half a mil­lion Ro­hingya who have fled to Bangladesh af­ter fresh vi­o­lence erupted in Au­gust.

Af­ter com­ing to Bangladesh, Habiba said she and her chil­dren have been sur­viv­ing un­der the open skies.

She said that even in tor­ren­tial rain, she could not find a place to keep her chil­dren from get­ting drenched.

Habiba and her chil­dren’s suf­fer­ing, how­ever, has been eased as she is one of the thou­sands of refugees to re­ceive the vi­tal re­lief tents sent by China for the Ro­hingya last week.

With sup­port from Bangladesh Army per­son­nel, Habiba’s tent has al­ready been set up in a camp in Cox’s Bazar dis­trict near the bor­der.

An ex­hausted Habiba, while rest­ing in her tent in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp re­cently, said how re­lieved she was.

“We’re do­ing so much bet­ter since we re­ceived the re­lief tent from China. Thank­fully, we’ll no longer get soaked by the rain and are far hap­pier,” she said.

“The tent from China has be­come a won­der­ful new home for us.”

Rama Khatun is another lucky woman who was al­lo­cated a Chi­nese re­lief tent.

Khatun, who came to Bangladesh from the vi­o­len­ce­plagued Rakhine state, said life had been tough for the past cou­ple of days, but things had changed for the bet­ter.

“Now we have got a tent. The Chi­nese tents are very big and we can all live com­fort­ably, my chil­dren in­cluded, which feels great,” she said.

Of­fi­cials said hun­dreds of tents have al­ready been built at a new refugee camp in the Cox’s Bazar dis­trict.

The Chi­nese re­lief tents will be able to ac­com­mo­date tens of thou­sands of peo­ple, the of­fi­cials said.

Mil­i­tary per­son­nel have been busy putting up the Chi­nese tents and ex­tend­ing re­lief ef­forts to the Ro­hingyas.

China last week also sent vi­tal re­lief ma­te­ri­als for the Ro­hingya. A sec­ond Chi­nese cargo plane car­ry­ing re­lief sup­plies for the Ro­hingya refugees ar­rived in Bangladesh’s south­east­ern Chit­tagong re­gion on Thurs­day. This fol­lowed the first ship­ment which ar­rived from China on Oct 4.

The re­lief sup­plies in­cluded about 2,000 tents and 3,000 blan­kets.

Ex­trem­ists launched fresh at­tacks on po­lice out­posts in Myan­mar’s Rakhine state on Aug 25, dis­plac­ing res­i­dents from a num­ber of ar­eas in the Maungtaw dis­trict, to bor­der ar­eas with Bangladesh.

JORGE SILVA / REUTERS

A Ro­hingya refugee girl queues to re­ceive food at a camp near Teknaf, Bangladesh, on Thurs­day.

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