Refugees fleeing violence in the state of Rakhine in Myanmar have faced great obstacles since last August. Unfortunately, it seems the coming of this year’s winter has added to their burden.
In an effort to tackle such difficulties, Save the Children has taken aim to distribute blankets, shawls for adults, children’s pullovers, slippers, and floor mats to 7,000 families comprising of 31,000 people by the end of December, a press release read.
Reports from Save the Children indicate many children in the camps in Cox’s Bazar are suffering from respiratory infection brought forth by a combination of malnutrition and sharp drops in temperatures, which is as low as 10°C.
January and February are the coldest months for Bangladesh and yet the Rohingya children are often found walking barefoot dressed in shorts and shirts meant for warm climates.
While Save the Children has been providing aid in the form of shelter kits, hygiene kits and kitchen kits, as well as food since the beginning of this crisis, it does not seem to be enough.
A survey using a quota of 200 Rohingya children from the camps has revealed many are suffering and showing signs of illness due to lack of winter clothing.
“Our focus is to reach the most vulnerable children and women. The winter kits will be given to people with chronic illnesses, people with disabilities, families with pregnant women, infants and families with elderly people,” Save the Children’s shelter expert Bishnu Prasad Gotame said.
According to the agency, many of the refugees escaped Rakhine with nothing but the clothes on their backs. An estimated 378,000 of the refugees are children, with one in four under the age of five, many of whom are suffering from acute malnutrition.
The agency has said that so far they set up 19 temporary learning centres, distributed student kits, teaching supplies, trained teachers in literacy, numeracy and positive discipline in classrooms, which currently support 2,950 children.
Save the Children needs to raise $95 million to continue aid efforts. So far $39 million has been raised, the press release on December 21 read.