Over half a million Rohingya people have fled violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar. More than half are children. They are seeking refuge across the border in Bangladesh. With little food or safe water, most are suffering from fever and water-borne diseases; they desperately need food supplies and medicine.
Open Doors has delivered food aid to Rohingya families living in a makeshift refugee camp in Bangladesh. When the team arrived they found that the recent rains had flooded the camp. Some areas were covered by two foot of water and thick deep mud. Families were living in makeshift tents that provided little protection from the storms, while others camped by the road side.
Despite some initial problems with the authorities, 1,000 families received rice, lentils, clothes, salt, oil and potatoes, as well as plastic sheets to construct shelters and protect from the heavy rains.
One woman, Johura, was crying loudly as the team arrived. When she received her food she said, “God will bless you. I’m so hopeless. I don’t know how many days we can live like this but your help means a lot.”
Another refugee, Yunus, thanked Open Doors and said, “Thank you for your help. I was in so much distress as I have no food to feed my child. May God bless you all.”
The Rohingya people are a Muslim minority in a Buddhist country, who face intense persecution. Myanmar refuses to acknowledge Rohingyas, saying they are Bengali immigrants. Bangladesh, on the other hand, says they're indigenous to Myanmar. They are denied citizenship and only receive highly restricted access to healthcare and education. They have no freedom of movement and suffer countless violent attacks.
There are a number Christian converts among the Rohingya people. To be a Christian Rohingya is to be an outcast of the outcasts. These believers from a Muslim background are doubly disadvantaged and are ostracised by their own people. Many Rohingya Christians choose to keep their faith a secret, living in a manner which will not arouse their community’s suspicion.
- Praise God for His protection over our team as they distributed the aid.
- That a proper place of refuge and safety would be provided for the refugees
- For the UN and those in power as they find a resolution that will put an end to this crisis.