News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Caritas Bangladesh
World News

Catholic charity responds to refugee crisis in Bangladesh

by Tola Mbakwe

About 240,000 children have fled Burma's Rakhine state into neighbouring Bangladesh over the last three weeks, according to a UN agency.

The figure - amounting to about 60 per cent of an estimated 391,000 Rohingya refugees - includes about 36,000 children under a year old, said Unicef spokeswoman Marixie Mercado.

She added that the children's agency also estimates about 52,000 pregnant women.

Caritas Bangladesh

Caritas Bangladesh's relief efforts are being supported by UK Catholic aid charity CAFOD which said "food, clean water and sanitation, and medical and health services are urgently needed".

Tom Delamere, CAFOD's Programme Officer for Bangladesh, said: "The situation for the refugees in Bangladesh is truly concerning.

"Reports we have received from the UN and from our partner, Caritas Bangladesh, show the desperate need faced by thousands of people.

"Those that have made it into Bangladesh are living in extremely poor conditions – they are hungry, weak and sick.

"Many refugees are sleeping in the open air and in desperate need of food and water. Others are in makeshift refugee camps along the side of the road, or wherever they can find space.

Caritas Bangladesh hopes to help more than 14,000 vulnerable families.

Caritas Bangladesh

A Rohingya insurgent group attacked police posts in Rakhine on August 25, and the Burmese military responded with "clearance operations".

Fleeing Rohingya say security forces shot indiscriminately, burned their homes and threatened them with death. The government says hundreds died, mostly Rohingya, and that 176 out of 471 Rohingya villages have been abandoned.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres described the violence against Rohingya as "ethnic cleansing", and Amnesty International said it has evidence of an "orchestrated campaign of systematic burnings" by Burmese security forces targeting dozens of Rohingya villages over the last three weeks.

With refugee camps overflowing and hundreds of thousands of Rohingya struggling to find shelter, food and other essential services, aid workers say they are deeply worried by the continuing influx of people by land and water.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email