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Two months into the crisis, more than 603,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed over into southern Bangladesh, while thousands are still trapped in the border. According to the UN, the pace of new arrivals made this crisis the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, and the concentration of refugees in Cox’s Bazar is now amongst the densest in the world.
More than 300,000 Rohingya women and girls who have fled rape and violence are not getting the protection and help they need because of lack of funds, Oxfam said ahead of a donor conference in Geneva today.
There are now more than 120,000 pregnant women and mothers with new babies who are among those struggling to survive in cramped camps and settlements in Bangladesh that are ill-equipped to deal with their needs.
A young woman receives food aid at the Bulakhali camp in Bangladesh, where 13,500 people are seeking humanitarian assistance. Oxfam plans to assist more than 200,000 people with emergency support. Photo: AJM Zobaidur Rahman/Oxfam
Oxfam is responding with water, sanitation, and other essentials
“As long as the senseless, costly and brutal war in South Sudan continues, its people will continue to flee to find protection, food, water and shelter. More than anything they need peace at home. South Sudan’s neighbouring countries and the international community must honour their commitments to get South Sudan’s warring parties back to the negotiating table. Until then, it will not be safe for South Sudanese refugees to return home, forcing them to depend on aid across the border.
“The sheer scale of the global refugee crisis is shocking. These new figures prove that more people need support than ever before. While the pace of displacement has slowed in the last year, suggesting that countries are tightening the screws which may be making it more difficult for people to flee across borders and seek refuge, there certainly hasn’t been notable improvement in those countries that are suffering from conflict and deprivation."
The rare story of a Syrian family who came to Europe on a humanitarian visa
Text: Laura Hurtado / Oxfam Intermón
The story of this family is unusual. Most Syrian refugees who have made it to Europe have got there illegally and by taking perilous journeys. War in their homeland and Fortress Europe left them no other option.
But here is a different Syrian tale, which shows there are other ways to give sanctuary to those fleeing the war.
Oxfam has joined a program to help Syrians find refuge in Europe. 60 people, including many families, will arrive in Italy today to seek asylum as part of a humanitarian visa programme approved by the Italian government. The people will be hosted by Oxfam in the Italian region of Tuscany for the duration of their asylum process.
Already more than 1,000 people have been reported dead or missing in 2017 while trying to cross the Mediterranean in search for a life in safety and dignity, figures published today by two UN agencies show. Also today, the European Court of Auditors has criticized appalling gaps in the EU’s ‘hotspot’ approach for receiving migrants.
In response, Oxfam International’s Deputy Director for Advocacy and Campaigns, Natalia Alonso, said:
On the death of migrants in the Mediterranean:
Five international organisations working on the Syria crisis – Oxfam, CARE International, International Rescue Committee, Norwegian Refugee Council and Save the Children - have called for more international action as world leaders met in Brussels at a conference to discuss the Syria crisis. Ministers, international organisations, and humanitarian workers discussed supporting Syrians inside the country and those who have crossed the border to become refugees.
Oxfam and three Syrian organisations called on the international community meeting in Brussels next week to recommit support to Syrians forced to flee, as more than five million Syrians -- or a quarter of the country’s pre-war population -- have crossed the border and registered as refugees in neighbouring countries since 2011.