Cate Blanchett is urging for help in preparing Rohingya refugees for oncoming monsoon rains.
“I’ve seen first-hand how UNHCR [Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees] – with its partners and with the refugees themselves – is working flat out to avoid an emergency within an emergency in Cox’s Bazar district,” said the actress and humanitarian on Wednesday. “But more is urgently needed to ensure refugees stay safe.”
Some 671,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since violence broke out in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state in Aug. 2017. “The Rohingya refugees have already experienced targeted violence, human rights abuses and horrific journeys,” said Blanchett. “They have shown unimaginable resilience and courage.”
But now the people face the threat of mother nature: “As the monsoon season approaches, the Government of Bangladesh, supported by UNHCR and its partners, are in a race against time to ensure the refugees are as safe as they can be to deal with potential floods and landslides.”
“The people of Bangladesh and host communities have been the first to respond to this crisis, supported by agencies like UNHCR and its partners,” Blanchett insisted. “But I cannot stress how much more help is needed for these vulnerable stateless refugees, the majority of whom are women and children.”
Concluding, “This is the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world, the monsoons are coming and it is critical that the international community, private sector and individuals all do what they can to support these stateless refugees and the communities hosting them.”