Up until now, Bangladesh has, almost single-handedly, taken care of the Rohingya seeking refuge from Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing -- providing them not only with shelter, but building them homes, giving them food, and ensuring their safety.
But sheltering the 700,000 Rohingya who now reside in Bangladesh, is no easy task.
Bangladesh, despite the progress it has made over the past few years, is still a small country with a very large population. By taking in the fleeing Rohingya, we hoped it would send out a message to the rest of the world to do something about the crisis.
A message that, unfortunately, fell on deaf ears.
But, witnessing the escalating situations in Rakhine state and the no man’s land between Myanmar and Bangladesh, it is about time that the international community spoke up and contributed towards ending the suffering of the Rohingya people to some capacity.
The international community has taken a long time to acknowledge the ethnic cleansing that is no doubt taking place in Myanmar, and now that the problem is at Bangladesh’s doorstep, the least that other, more well-off nations could do is to help us with this crisis.
Our country’s most recent contribution to the Rohingya crisis has been devoting $280 million from our own coffers towards building homes for the Rohingya -- this in spite of the thousands of our own citizens who still live below the poverty line.
We have waited long enough.
If there was ever a time for the international community to act, it would be now -- and providing us with the necessary financial aid to successfully and efficiently tackle the refugee crisis would be a start.
Due to the limited amount of space and resources, the Rohingya continue to suffer, not only from a lack of habitable land, but also from disease and lack of nutrition.
Developed nations and international NGOs all over the world need to step up, and help Bangladesh in ensuring that the future of the Rohingya is not as bleak as Myanmar had set out to make it.