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Monday, December 4, 2017 11:35:07 PM
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Winter poising big challenge to Rohingya refugees

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05th-Dec-2017       
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THE winter has set in and the weather is becoming chilly. People all over the country are facing severe cold to suffer from cold related diseases. The poor need warm clothes and protection from open air. Over the past few days the sun has apparently lost heat as foggy weather is carpeting the horizon. Movement of transport has become highly risky to accident on Roads, Highways and River transport system. We must say it is time everybody should be aware of the growing risks to life.

Rohingya refugees are the people most vulnerable to shivering cold and cold wind in their makeshift tents as per media reports. Particularly, their children are most unprotected and need more attention - more warm clothes, warm shelter and adequate food.  We know that the government and the Aid Agencies are trying to mitigate their sufferings but fund shortage has already started affecting enough supply. Lack of protected shelter has become a big problem. In Rohingya camps, bone-shivering wind blows after the sunset to force the persecuted people inactive, unfed and frizzed. 

The New Nation reported on Monday on growing vulnerability of children, women, and elderly persons to cold in Rohingya camps. They are most susceptible to cold related diseases until they get enough protection. The scenario is not different either for the marginal people living in rural and urban Bangladesh. Flood hit the country thrice this year making the poor poorer and many have failed to repair homes. They have no properly protected home to protect family members from cold.

We must say the rich and wealthy must have special responsibility this time to stand by the poor and the needy. NGOs and charitable organizations must mobilize quick action while Local Administration must reach help to the cold affected people such as blanket, warm clothes, kerosene and food. The presence of such people in the northern districts is more noticeable. Many people and organizations take this occasion to take advantage of charity for social demonstration. We would want to say it is not time for demonstration but real action to help the needy.

Met office on Sunday cautioned that there may be a couple of cold waves in December and January where temperature may fall to below 4 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country. The UNHCR has warned cholera can break out easily among the hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas exposed to cold. Some foreign and local aid workers distributed blankets to Rohingya refugees during last few days but the supply is not enough. The message must be through. We must say international help should come in bigger way for the helpless people. Bangladesh has only limited resources to protect over a million refugees, in addition to protect our own poor. It is indeed a challenging task lying ahead.   


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