• Sunday, Jan 17, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:05 am

Because they have nothing

  • Published at 08:36 pm November 7th, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:39 am November 8th, 2017
Because they have nothing
“This cannot be real,” I keep telling myself. For over two months, the world has been watching as more than 600,000 people have fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar. Their arrival is heart-breaking; waves of women, children, and men move on both sides of the road, carrying their belongings and seeking a safe place to shelter their children from the rain. Looking into their eyes, one can see the trauma that they have survived, the misery they feel for where they are now, and an unsettling anguish for the future. Our job is to immediately provide basic neccesities to the people arriving in Bangladesh. In order to measure the scale of the crisis and plan our response, we talk of figures. Some days, there are 35,000 people crossing the border, on other days, 10,000 or less. But these are not just figures or statistics that tell us the scale of this crisis. They are human beings with their lives, hopes, and any future aspirations now shattered by the harsh reality that meets them -- the thick mud under their bare feet, and an unrelenting rain on their backs. In an area adjacent to the border of Myanmar, called Konarpara, 7,000 people have put up a makeshift settlement beside a river close to the entry point of Bangladesh.
These are not just figures or statistics that tell us the scale of this crisis. They are human beings with their lives, hopes, and any future aspirations now shattered by the harsh reality that meets them
Our teams were distributing food parcels to as many people as possible. They would cross the river to reach us, only to return to the patch of land where they have set up temporary shelter. I try to put myself in their place: Abruptly being stripped of any social standing, to become a displaced person, losing fundamental references of personal, familial, and communal stability; to become uprooted, from being self-dependent to becoming dependent for nearly everything needed on a daily basis. No one, simply no one, deserves to live like this. Further away from Konarpara, we drove to Jadimura, an area where we have mobile health teams providing essential health services. “Today we have almost 400 people queuing,” explains one of our doctors. “The majority of them are women and children. Yet, not all of them are sick. Some are simply desperate, and they want someone who will listen to their story,” she continues. Since the onset of the crisis a month ago, we, the International Committee of the Red Cross,  together with Bangladeshi Red Crescent Society, have decided to respond to the urgent needs of stranded families in the border areas. We know that we’ve helped around 100,000 people so far through food assistance, water and sanitation interventions, health care, and communication services that have reconnected family members. Yet, we also acknowledge that this is a mere drop in the ocean, compared to the immense need. More can be done, and it should be done. The situation is overwhelming, and simply beyond the capacity of individual actors or one organisation alone. For Bangladesh and its people, this crisis is not new. They have been helping for the past three decades. However, the sheer scale of this crisis is also pushing the limits of the host community beyond imagination. People here need everything, because they have nothing. They need food, water, shelter, health care, but more importantly, they need hope. As a humanitarian organisation, we can provide short to mid-term help, but the harder question that must be answered is: When will this suffering end? Ikhtiyar Aslanov is the Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Bangladesh. 
50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail