David Miliband: World must step up support for Rohingya refugees

The Guardian reports:

David Miliband has called on the international community to step up its support of Rohingya refugees in southern Bangladesh before the monsoon.

During a visit to the refugee camps, the former UK foreign secretary said the issue must be discussed at the G7 meeting in Quebec, Canada this week, saying there was “real fear” among the refugees about the rainy season.

Miliband, the chief executive of the International Rescue Committee, said the positioning of the refugee camp would have serious implications during the monsoon.

“The first thing that strikes me is the sheer scale,” Miliband said. “Some 600,000 people in a camp, albeit one with subdivisions in it, is twice the size of the world’s largest refugee camp. The scale is huge. Secondly, I’ve never seen a refugee camp built on such uncertain territory.”

Humanitarian agencies are rushing to improve structures and roads in the hilly campsite. Massive deforestation occurred in the area as the refugees created shelters after fleeing from Myanmar during the crisis last summer, leading to a serious risk of floods and landslides in the camps. [Continue reading…]

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