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Refugees Magazine Issue 107 (Refugee voices from exile) - Back in Myanmar

Refugees Magazine, 1 March 1997

The largest repatriation programme in Asia as 250,000 Muslims return to Myanmar from Bangladesh.

Myanmar's northern Rakhine State is one of the most inhospitable parts of Asia. Most of the tropical region situated along the Bay of Bengal is roadless mountain and accessible to inhabitants and aid workers only by boat, motorcycle or on foot. In the rainy season it is one of the wettest places on earth and in the dry season one of the hottest with temperatures reaching above 45 degrees.

For the last three years UNHCR has been overseeing the return of an estimated quarter-million refugees from neighbouring Bangladesh to Myanmar; it is currently the largest organized repatriation in Asia. The population had originally fled during regional unrest in 1991-92.

More than 90 percent of the refugees have returned home and with most of the 20 camps in Bangladesh already closed, UNHCR hopes to complete the repatriation part of its operation later this year. UNHCR and its implementing agencies will continue their involvement in the region, monitoring the situation and financing small self-help projects to help stabilize the Muslim population and minimize the likelihood of another outflow.

Source: Refugees Magazine issue 107 (1997)

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UNHCR country pages

Myanmar IDPs pick up the pieces in Rakhine state

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding across Myanmar's Rakhine state, where some 115,000 people are desperately in need of aid after being displaced during two waves of inter-communal violence in June and October 2012. The displaced, most of them ethnic Rohingya, have sought shelter in temporary relief camps and others remain scattered across the state, living under tight security in their destroyed villages. Conditions are harsh: the camps are overcrowded and some lack even the most basic of sanitation facilities while many of the villages are totally destroyed and running low on water. In one village, more than 32 families were living cheek-by-jowl in just two large tents. The children have no access to education and the newborn and elderly are in a very vulnerable position due to a lack of medical facilities. UNHCR is distributing relief supplies and working with the authorities and partners to improve camp conditions, but international assistance is required.

Myanmar IDPs pick up the pieces in Rakhine state

UNHCR Relief Items Pour into Myanmar

With eight relief flights and an earlier truck convoy from nearby Thailand, UNHCR had by June 6, 2008 moved 430 tonnes of shelter and basic household supplies into Myanmar to help as many as 130,000 victims of Cyclone Nargis. The aid includes plastic sheeting, plastic rolls, mosquito nets, blankets and kitchen sets. Once the aid arrives in the country it is quickly distributed.

On the outskirts of the city of Yangon – which was also hit by the cyclone – and in the Irrawady delta, some families have been erecting temporary shelters made out of palm leaf thatching. But they desperately need plastic sheeting to keep out the monsoon rains.

Posted on 12 June 2008

UNHCR Relief Items Pour into Myanmar

Myanmar Cyclone Victims Still Need Aid

With eight relief flights and an earlier truck convoy from nearby Thailand, UNHCR had by June 6, 2008 moved 430 tonnes of shelter and basic household supplies into Myanmar to help as many as 130,000 victims of Cyclone Nargis. The aid includes plastic sheeting, plastic rolls, mosquito nets, blankets and kitchen sets. Once the aid arrives in the country it is quickly distributed.

On the outskirts of the city of Yangon – which was also hit by the cyclone – and in the Irrawady delta, some families have been erecting temporary shelters made out of palm leaf thatching. But they desperately need plastic sheeting to keep out the monsoon rains.

Posted on 12 June 2008

Myanmar Cyclone Victims Still Need Aid

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