SIX MINUS ONE: THE NEVER-ENDING RUN…

Photo Credit: Tahmina Haque, CARE Bangladesh
23 September, 2017
Your partner is shot right in front of your eyes...he falls down...cries for help BUT you don't stop.
You continue to run...run breathlessly...until you're far...far away from your bleeding partner... and you still don't know if your partner is dead or alive..


This is what happened to Ayesha (22) from Myanmar. She was sharing her tales of horror.

IT WAS A REGULAR EVERYDAY MORNING.

Ayesha was doing household chores and her husband Abdur Rahim was getting ready to open his small grocery shop.

All of a sudden, some people came and torched the entire village. Ayesha and everyone else ran for their lives. The next few days, they lived under the open sky in another village.

No, their ordeal didn’t end there. They were again attacked. This time by a group of people with guns in their hands. Again they started running.

Ayesha’s husband got shot. She saw that but couldn’t afford to stop. Ayesha had to save her kids. She had no time to think about her husband.

Over the next couple of days, she ran from places to places and finally saw a long trail of people – all shocked and terrified - at the Bangladesh border.

With thousand others, she was allowed to enter Bangladesh. Ayesha is now staying at Balukhali makeshift camp where a huge number of Rohingya refugees are huddling together with not enough food, shelter or medical facilities.

In the past three weeks, more than 400,000 people from Myanmar have fled to Cox’s Bazar, south eastern Bangladesh, following an escalation of violence in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State. Most of the refugees here are women – like Ayesha - with small children and babies.

Ayesha needs to breastfeed one and take care of the other three; all very young. After managing the kids, she hardly gets time to go out and fight for relief materials. Thankfully Ayesha’s parents are also with her who share whatever relief materials they can manage.

When asked, she said, "We need food…water…latrine; need some clothes. We have no money to buy anything."

"The situation of the refugees is worsening by the minute. They came to Bangladesh with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. They walked for long distances for days to reach safety. They have nowhere else to go.", says Zia Choudhury, CARE Bangladesh Country Director.

In Cox’s Bazar, close to the Myanmar border, thousands of families are sleeping in makeshift camps, fields and on muddy paths. The camp sites are muddy, hilly, and slippery; at times, treacherous.

"The conditions of refugees from Myanmar are among the most miserable that I have ever seen. The people who have fled Rakhine State are in desperate need of safe shelter, food and medical assistance.", adds Choudhury.

CARE International has already allocated some initial funds to start its emergency response to the Myanmar Refugee Crisis. CARE Bangladesh emergency team has already conducted a rapid needs assessment and started distributing cooked food to over 3,500 people, for an initial period of 15 days. Care is also mobilizing health, nutrition and gender teams to provide rapid services for vulnerable women and children.

To respond to the most urgent needs over the months ahead, CARE is appealing for 10 Million USD.

Written by Hillol Sobhan, Communications and PR Coordinator, CARE Bangladesh with information from Tahmina Haque, Reporting & Documentation Manager, SHOUHARDO III Program of CARE Bangladesh
© Copyright 2009 CARE Bangladesh
Photo Credits- Former & Current CARE Staff & Consultants
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