Muntaqa Zaman, post #4
Current humanitarian efforts regarding the Rohingya were ongoing as of 2019, but have slowed down considerably since the outbreak of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus. Humanitarian assistance can come in two main overarching forms: advocacy and aid. Aid is being continually provided to the Rohingya in camps in Bangladesh, both through local and international organizations. Additionally, groups that remain or have been barricaded in the Rakhine state depend solely on external aid for basic services (The New Humanitarian). As of 2020, groups are asking the international community for $877,000 million in funding in order to alleviate the crises. Humanitarian groups are following the steps necessary for providing aid – but advocacy and accountability are falling short.
From a legal point of view, there have been “at least three parallel attempts, in three separate courts, to pursue accountability” – the UN body has not attended to any of them (The New Humanitarian). And despite Bangladesh’s confirmation to UNICEF that the Rohingya would not be returned to Myanmar against their will, their have been talks about transferring the refugees to a nearby uninhabited island, effectively creating a detention center of sorts, to prevent even more overcrowding in the Cox Bazar border (UNICEF). How has this conflict grown to such proportions right under our noses? Historical similarities and parallels can be drawn to the nearly half-a-century old (in terms of Western news coverage) Palestinian and Israeli conflict. Native land is claimed by one ethnicity or race, while the other is driven from it – however, unlike the highly publicized conflict in the Middle East, there are no militaries being watched and judged by the international community. The imbalance of power, the claims to a nation, historical roots – all of these are luxuries afforded to a crisis that remains in the international and humanitarian spotlight due to Western interest. The Rohingya in Myanmar continue to receive aid, but their situation will remain the same if advocacy and accountability does not become a priority.
“UNICEF Welcomes Bangladesh Statement That Rohingya Will Not Be Forced to Leave | UN News.” United Nations, United Nations, 16 Nov. 2018, news.un.org/en/story/2018/11/1025901.
“The Rohingya.” The New Humanitarian, 11 Mar. 2020, www.thenewhumanitarian.org/in-depth/myanmar-rohingya-refugee-crisis-humanitarian-aid-bangladesh.