The solemn five-year anniversary of the Rohingya crisis

Thursday, August 25, 2022
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I do hope that things will be alright soon, and I can go back to my motherland and live there with dignity and peace.

Nurul, Rohingya refugee living in Bangladesh

August 25 is an anniversary nobody wants to celebrate.

It marks five years since hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people were forced to flee into Bangladesh for safety.

For five years, Canadian Foodgrains Bank and its member agencies working with local partners in Myanmar and Bangladesh have remained dedicated to providing essential food aid to the Rohingya population in their time of greatest need.

Back home in Myanmar, Nurul had all he needed to thrive. He had land, animals, and a fishing boat and was able to provide a good living for his family.

But as ethnic Rohingyas, Nurul, his pregnant wife and his five children came under attack, and had to quickly flee to Bangladesh for safety.

Life didn’t get easier immediately upon their arrival in Bangladesh – the family still struggled. They moved into Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, where Nurul and his 15-year-old son started working as day labourers to pay their rent.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic added to their hardship, impacting their work and reducing their income, which wasn’t much to begin with. Nurul took the initiative to create baskets out of bamboo to help supplement his income but struggled to make a profit at the market.

Nurul is making a bamboo cage to sell in the local market. Photo: World Renew

Nurul’s family were grateful to receive basic food items like rice, lentils and oil from the World Food Programme, but it was unfortunately not enough to feed his family for the entire month. “We are receiving food support… but we are eating the same thing day after day; it feels very monotonous,” said Nurul.

Through Canadian Foodgrains Bank, World Renew worked with its local partner to provide extra food items to 17,360 Rohingya refugees to improve their nutritional intake. Nurul and his family were happy with the change in diversity of diet, and more encouraged to overcome hardships.

“I have received a lot of help and support… I do hope that things will be alright soon, and I can go back to my motherland and live there with dignity and peace.”

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