Aid workers warn of 'humanitarian catastrophe' in displacement camps in Burma
London, July 14 (ANI): Humanitarian workers have warned of an impending humanitarian catastrophe in western Burma as authorities attempt to isolate tens of thousands of displaced ethnic Rohingya minorities in camps.
Humanitarians, who have described the camps as "open air prisons", have struggled to reach those affected by sectarian unrest in early June, while abusive treatment by Burmese authorities continues.
While the rates of malnutrition among the Muslim Rohingya, who have borne the brunt of emergency measures implemented in the wake of fierce rioting in June between the minority group and the majority Arakanese, are learnt to be "alarming", the vast majority of aid workers assisting the Rohingya in Arakan have been either evacuated or forced to flee in recent weeks.
"We are worried that malnutrition rates already have and will continue to rise dramatically; if free and direct humanitarian access accompanied by guaranteed security is not granted with the shortest delay, there's no way they won't rise," The Guardian quoted Tarik Kadir of Action Against Hunger, as saying.
The group's staff were reportedly forced to leave northern Arakan state, and with the dearth of medical care reaching the area, aid workers claim that the situation is likely to worsen.
"There's no way of measuring the impact over the past month because staff have either been evacuated or forced to flee. And given that rainy season is underway, when you factor in all these other problems, we don't need to measure it to know it's a catastrophe," Kadir added.
The Burmese government had earlier announced that the camps for Rohingya would remain in place for one year, however, Kadir claimed that this "goes against everything the aid community demands, to let them be independent as soon as possible is critical".
He further said that the humanitarian access to victims of the violence "is fundamental". (ANI)
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