Chinese aid helps Myanmar refugees
Half a million Rohingyas flee country due to fresh violence
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.
A Rohingya refugee girl queues to receive food at a camp near Teknaf, Bangladesh, on Thursday.