Rohingya refugee family grateful for food assistance and the ‘kindness of others’

Friday, April 20, 2018

Junayet Ahammed (left) with his parents and siblings in their makeshift home in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (Photo: CCDB)

Junayet Ahammed will never forget the day he watched his family’s house burn to the ground.

It was August 27, 2017–the day the Myanmar military attacked his village in Myanmar’s Mond district.

Violence broke out in the northern Rakhine state at the end of August when Rohingya militants attacked government forces. According to the United Nations, the Myanmar government responded against the Rohingya with disproportionate violence.

As a result of the violence, well over 600,000 refugees, including Junayet’s family, have fled into Bangladesh seeking safety.

Junayet fled with his parents and siblings, arriving by boat at the Bangladesh border in early September. At first, they stayed in the shelter of a relative who arrived in Bangladesh before them. Now, they live in a makeshift home in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar.

Life in the refugee camp is not easy.

In Myanmar, Junayet’s father was a doctor, and the family owned nearly 7 acres of land. Junayet taught chemistry at a local high school and worked at his family’s medicine business part time.

In the camp, they have nothing. Junayet’s family lost all their belongings when they fled the violence.

Now, they are dependent on the kindness of others–something that is difficult for his family to do, since they are used to being financially independent.

“Life is so hard, but I am thankful for the different kind of support and help we are receiving,” says Junayet.

Part of the support they’ve received is through a project of Canadian Foodgrains Bank member World Renew. Through the project, Junayet’s family received food rations of oil, lentils, sugar and salt, which were complemented by rations of rice provided through the World Food Programme.

He says the support they’ve received is giving them hope for the future and for the day it is safe to return home.

– Shaylyn McMahon, communications assistant, with files from Peter S. Sarkar, program officer at CCDB Bangladesh