Caritas Bangladesh is the organisation most committed to Rohingya refugee' (photos)
by Sumon Corraya

The charity is working in the camp near Cox's Bazar with 200 volunteers. Every day it feeds 46,000 refugees. It has installed 250 solar panels and built 12,000 small houses. The Bangladeshi government wants to move 150,000 people to Vasanchor but the Rohingya “want to stay together".

Cox’s Bazar (AsiaNews) – Caritas Bangladesh is the organisation most committed to helping the Rohingya Muslim refugees, this according to Francis Ranjon Rozario, assistant executive director of the Catholic charity in the Asian country, who spoke to AsiaNews.

Faced with the massive emergency that developed in August of last year, following renewed fighting in Rakhine state, the NGO immediately began to help. Its work is impressive.

"We helped to build 12,000 small houses, distributed 12,000 gas cylinders, fed 46,000 refugees, installed 250 solar panels in the camps,” said Rozario, “and much more to come".

Since refugees began arriving, Caritas “has completed seven FD7 and the government has already approved other projects".

Unlike other NGOs, the authorities did no make it hard for the charity to work with the displaced.

A delegation from Caritas and the local Church visited the camp near Cox's Bazar on World Refugee Day (19 June). About 200 volunteers work at the site.

Mgr Moses M. Costa, archbishop of Chittagong; Mgr Lawrence Subroto Hawlader, bishop of Barisal; and the directors of Caritas’s district offices were among the sponsors of the event.

After meeting some social workers and members of the Muslim community, Catholics handed out meals to 2,000 children.

The Rohingya (just over a million people) are a Muslim ethnic group, originally from Bangladesh. Myanmar (Burma), which is predominantly Buddhist, does not recognise their citizenship.

After violence broke out again, about 700,000 people entered Bangladesh, seeking shelter along the border in makeshift camps, with poor sanitary conditions. For children it is almost impossible to study, and bad weather has increased the likelihood of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Last September, Caritas Bangladesh joined the "Share the journey" campaign promoted by Caritas Internationalis and renewed its commitment to helping refugees and migrants.

"This commitment continues today,” Rozario explained. “We work with the Rohingya because we feel their pain. At present, they are suffering because of monsoon rains. Thousands of homes have been damaged by precipitation, and many wells are out of order. They have no gas to cook, despite the aid."

Finally, the government plans to move 150,000 refugees to ​​Vasanchor, on the coast of Bangladesh, "but the Rohingya do not want to. They want to stay together."