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Kiwi Aid Worker acts to save lives

Kiwi Aid Worker acts to save lives as monsoon rains displace thousands of Rohingya refugees.

A New Zealand Aid Worker is responding to the needs of thousands of vulnerable Rohingya refugees, as heavy rains and winds pummel the world’s largest refugee camp.

Nearly one million Rohingya refugees live in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, having fled extreme violence and apartheid-like conditions in Myanmar. Since the beginning of July, heavy monsoon rains have battered refugee settlements, washing away the shelters of over 4,000 men, women, and children, and causing at least two fatalities.

“The rain has been very heavy and continuous for the past 10 days,” said Carl Adams, a New Zealand aid worker who leads a team of humanitarian workers in Cox’s Bazar. “There have been landslides throughout the camp, and thousands relocated so far due to their houses being destroyed or in areas with imminent risk of flooding or landslides.”

With the support of Tearfund, Carl and his team are delivering life-saving health and nutrition services to more than 14,000 Rohingya refugees. This work has been made possible thanks to generous donations from the New Zealand public and funding from the New Zealand Aid Programme. Now, as camp conditions deteriorate rapidly during the monsoon season, Carl and his team are providing extra assistance to people threatened by high winds, floods, and landslides.

“We are now also distributing emergency shelter kits to families whose shelters are in need of urgent repairs. Our clinics are preparing for the increase of waterborne diseases that usually increase when people are in contact with water that can easily become contaminated in such a densely populated camp.

Parts of the camp are knee-deep in mud and water. People are doing their best to get by, though the rains have made a bad situation even worse.”


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