Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett calls for increased aid for Rohingya refugees
After recent visit to Bangladesh, Blanchett says more international support for displaced and host communities is urgently needed ahead of monsoon rains.
COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh – UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett today warned of a “race against time” to protect Rohingya refugees from the worst impacts of the upcoming monsoon season in Bangladesh.
Blanchett was visiting south-eastern Bangladesh where over 671,000 children, women and men from Myanmar have sought safety since last August.
With wet season rains due next month, more than 150,000 refugees are at risk of landslides and floods, in what could become a disaster on top of the current emergency.
“The Rohingya refugees have already experienced targeted violence, human rights abuses and horrific journeys. They have shown unimaginable resilience and courage,” Blanchett said, speaking at the end of her visit to Kutupalong, Nyapara and Chakmarkul settlements this week.
“But now, 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.”
In Chakmarkul settlement Blanchett met with 28-year-old Jhura who fled Myanmar with her two children when her village was attacked six months ago. She now lives in a bamboo shelter built on the side of a steep hill.
“The monsoon is coming and I’m scared that the wind will blow away the roof. There are shelters above mine that would fall on us if there is a landslide. The ground will be slippery and I worry that it will be difficult to get about,” says Jhura, who became separated from her husband, whom she fears may have been killed.
Blanchett also spent time with a refugee singer, Mohammed, who supports his family by writing and performing poetic songs, known as ghazals, inspired by the events, stories and concerns of the refugee community. He performed a new ghazal about the Rohingya community’s fears about the upcoming monsoon, singing “if the rains come and the cyclones attack … what will the world do?”
Impressed by the scale and scope of the monsoon preparedness work currently underway Blanchett said: “I’ve seen first-hand how UNHCR – with its partners and with the refugees themselves – are working flat out to avoid an emergency within an emergency.
“Staff are on the ground distributing shelter and pre-monsoon kits to the vulnerable families, reinforcing roads, bridges, steps and other infrastructure that risk being washed away, and relocating families to safer places where land is available. But more is urgently needed to ensure refugees stay safe.”
Calling for the international community to show solidarity and share the responsibility of this crisis with the Government and people of Bangladesh, Blanchett said: “The people of Bangladesh and host communities have been the first to respond to this crisis, supported by agencies like UNHCR and its partners. But I cannot stress how much more help is needed for these vulnerable stateless refugees, the majority of whom are women and children.”
Your support is urgently needed to aid refugee children, women and men in Bangladesh.
【Cate Blanchett：羅興亞難民危機是一場與時間的競賽】聯合國難民署親善大使Cate Blanchett三月到訪孟加拉Kutupalong難民營。難民營範圍龐大，且缺乏堅固的建築物，大部分庇護所都興建在鬆散的斜坡上，所以未來數月當雨季來臨時，難民僅餘的臨時居所將很容易被洪水和山泥傾瀉摧毀。難民署正趕緊在季候風季節來臨前，加緊保護難民，避免另一個「危機中的危機」誕生。超過十萬名難民將受到洪水和山泥傾瀉影響。Cate呼籲緊急資金，以拯救生命: https://goo.gl/zHtpF3Gepostet von UNHCR Hong Kong 聯合國難民署 am Montag, 2. April 2018
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. UNHCR leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. UNHCR delivers life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, helps safeguard fundamental human rights, and develops solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality. UNHCR’s dedicated teams are on the ground in some 130 countries across the world, working in partnership with governments, NGOs, the private sector, community groups, host communities as well as refugees.