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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

MEPs call for aid in Cox’s Bazar as monsoons claim Rohingya lives

14th June 2018

In a new resolution, adopted today, cross-party MEPs have called on the international community to step up its humanitarian efforts in Cox’s Bazar, as the monsoon rains begin to claim Rohingya lives. [1]

The far-reaching resolution also sends a stark warning to the authorities in Myanmar to stop their campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people.

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP and Chair of the Parliament’s South Asia delegation, responded:

“The crisis faced by the Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar is a humanitarian tragedy, and one of the most alarming refugee situations I have witnessed in my years as an MEP.

Having already experienced ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, one million refugees trapped on Bangladesh’s border – including 720,000 children – now face deathly monsoon rains.

This week has provided a glimpse of the horrors to come, with at least three lives being lost to torrential rain and mudslides. Thousands more people have been injured or seen their homes destroyed – again. [2]

During my visits to Bangladesh I’ve visited this makeshift bamboo and tarpaulin city, largely built on the soft soil of the hillsides. As the rains come, many of these shelters will be washed away, alongside latrines, clean water and medical supplies.

The Bangladeshi Government is doing what it can but, with 200,000 people at immediate risk of flooding, the sheer scale of this crisis is overwhelming. [3] The UN’s appeal to raise $951 million to meet the community’s needs this year has stalled at just 20% of its total goal. [4] And even if it’s possible to help one fifth of the refugees in immediate danger, 160,000 more lives remain on the brink.

The international community cannot shut its eyes to the ethnic cleansing and continued suffering of the Rohingya people. That’s why today’s resolution is so important. The European Parliament is urging the Commission and Member States to take action – to ramp up their humanitarian efforts, and demand Myanmar allow the safe, voluntary and dignified return of the Rohingya to their homes.

This vulnerable group has already been failed once. The international community must not fail them again.”