UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett is warning of a ‘race against time’ to protect Rohingya refugees from the impact of the upcoming monsoon season in Bangladesh. Increased rainfall, potential cyclones and adverse weather conditions are threatening to put hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees at serious risk in the coming months.
More than 671,000 Rohingya children, women and men have been forced to flee to Bangladesh escaping violence in Myanmar since August 2017. They have arrived exhausted, hungry, and sick after walking for days from their villages through jungles, across mountains and rivers carrying what little they could bring from home.
Now, as the monsoon season approaches, the Government of Bangladesh, supported by UNHCR, are in race against time to ensure the refugees are protected, safe and prepared to cope with heavy rains and potential mud slides.
Speaking at the end of her visit to refugee settlements in Bangladesh, Cate Blanchett said “I’ve seen first-hand how UNHCR - with its partners and with the refugees themselves - is working flat out to avoid an emergency within an emergency in Cox’s Bazar district. Staff are on the ground distributing shelter and pre-monsoon kits to the vulnerable families, reinforcing roads, bridges, steps and other infrastructure at risk of being washed away, and relocating families to safer places where land is available. But more is urgently needed to ensure refugees stay safe,”
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