Burma has blamed Bangladesh for delaying the start of a repatriation process for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees, saying it feared Dhaka could be stalling until it receives multi-million dollars of international aid money.
Burma and Bangladesh on Tuesday agreed to cooperate on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees and took steps to boost border security as relations between the neighbours have been strained by the continuing flow of refugees into Bangladesh.
The World Health Organization began distributing 900,000 doses of cholera vaccine on Tuesday in Bangladesh’s camps for Rohingya refugees fleeing from Burma, as authorities rush to prevent a major outbreak of the deadly disease.
Humanitarian organisations helping Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh said on Wednesday they need $434 million over the next six months to help up to 1.2 million people, most of them children, in dire need of life-saving assistance.
Two weeks since the Burmese government pledged to begin a process for the return of hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees who have fled to Bangladesh, questions about the practicality of a mass repatriation loom large.
Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh could die due to a lack of food, shelter and water, given the huge numbers fleeing violence in Burma, an aid agency warned on Sunday, as authorities began moving people to camps to streamline the distribution of help.
Sources say a struggle for control of supplies to some makeshift refugee camps for Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh is behind recent violence and the presence of masked men roaming the dark streets of the camps at night.