Jonathan Duffy, president of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, recently visited Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, to get an eye witness account of the Rohingya refugee crisis. To date, more than 860,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh.
Duffy spent two days visiting three refugee camps, including Nayapara, Leda and the biggest camp, Kutupalong, meeting with hundreds of Rohingya refugees who were affected. He also joined ADRA’s emergency response team in Bangladesh to help distribute much needed food items throughout the camps.
Deeply moved, Duffy said “I have been to several refugee camps around the world, but I haven’t seen so much need and sorrow. I truly feel for the Rohingya people and strongly believe no person in this world, no matter their background, deserves to be treated with such hate and violence.”
It’s estimated that more than 6,700 Royhingya have been killed since violence erupted in the Myanmar state of Rakhine on August 25. According to the United Nations, as of December 11, nearly 860,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. 646,000 have arrived in the last four months. Many of the refugees are women and children injured during the conflict.
Considered to be the world’s most persecuted people, the Rohingya are a stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic body, the majority of whom are Muslim. More than 90 percent of people in Myanmar are Buddhist.
In the last month, ADRA has distributed more than 7,500 food packets and 5,000 shelter kits for Rohingya refugees and continue to provide ongoing aid as needs develop.