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ICRC president visits Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camps

  • Published at 02:20 am July 2nd, 2018
ICRC President Peter Maurer speaks with a Rohingya refugee family in Cox’s Bazar yesterday    Dhaka Tribune
ICRC President Peter Maurer speaks with a Rohingya refugee family in Cox’s Bazar on SundayDhaka Tribune

During his visit, he met with the refugees, locals, authorities, and assessed the conditions at the camps at Keruntali, Chakmarkul and Unchiprang

The president of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, visited several Rohingya refugee camps in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar on Sunday.

During his visit, he met with the refugees, locals, authorities, and assessed the conditions at the camps at Keruntali, Chakmarkul and Unchiprang.

At that time, he also inspected the medical centre and relief distribution centre, among other establishments, that are run by the Red Crescent in the camps.

Later, he also visited the relief distribution centre and field hospital of Red Crescent at Balukhali, Ukhiya.

"I’m speaking with the people in Chakmarkul camp in Cox’s Bazar. Conditions are severe – people are surviving, not living. There’s little clean water, electricity or education, and even less hope," the ICRC president had tweeted in the afternoon.

Explaining the situation at the camp, he said: "This is a refugee camp where people have the basic needs – getting food, access to safe water, some medicine, and shelter in particular in this season.

“But at the same time, it also struck me how much, when compared also to what I have seen in Myanmar, how much this is a loss-loss situation for people.”

He said: "Because on both sides of the border I see that violence has displaced people, destroyed lives and livelihoods, destroyed economic income possibilities, and now on both sides of the border you have communities which cannot sustain their lives which are dependent on humanitarian assistance, which of course are necessary and we are ready to bring it.

"I too hope that we will manage to turn this around to make this humanitarian assistance more a promotion for resilient families of resilient communities, and to eventually allow these people to make informed decisions on where they want to continue their life in safety, hopefully."

Peter Maurer had visited Myanmar before arriving in Bangladesh on Saturday afternoon.

During his visit to the Keruntali camp, Maurer also told reporters that the Myanmar government would have to ensure the Rohingyas’ honour and rights before they return home and to normal life.

He said although the Red Cross was providing the necessary aid to the refugees, it would never ensure their return to normal life.

Only safe and voluntary repatriation can do that, Maurer added.