Rohingya refugees fight for food as supplies dwindle

World Today

Bangladesh Myanmar AttacksRohingya Muslims, newly arrived from Myanmar, scuffle for puffed rice food rations donated by local volunteers in Kutupalong, Bangladesh, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. With Rohingya refugees still flooding across the border from Myanmar, those packed into camps and makeshift settlements in Bangladesh are becoming desperate for scant basic resources and dwindling supplies. Fights are erupting over food and water. Women and children are tapping on car windows or tugging at the clothes of passing reporters while rubbing their bellies and begging for food. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

At least 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have escaped violence in Myanmar and reached Bangladesh in the last two weeks, according to the Untied Nations. More are expected to arrive, however, and aid agencies are beginning to worry about dwindling food supplies for the refugees. 

CGTN’s Ravinder Bawa reports.
Follow Ravinder Bawa on Twitter @ravsbaws

After having survived brutal attacks on their way out of Myanmar, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are now facing a different kind of ordeal: all-too-common fights over food and water.

Some have become experts in this fight for survival, but those who have just arrived, famished and tired, have no clue what’s ahead.

The aggressive manage to grab one or two packets of food. The weak are left behind with nothing.

Today, Rahimula is lucky. After three tries, he finally managed to get a single packet.

It’s the first hot meal for his family since arriving in in Bangladesh.

“I came to know about this, and I ran to pick it up. I could just manage a packet and all eight of us shared it,” according to Rahimullah.

He has trained his children to death with the hunger they feel. Press hard on your stomach when you are hungry, he tells them, and it alleviates the discomfort.

Many non-governmental organizations are running community kitchens to feed the hungry. They make sure food is properly packed to prevent it from going bad or being spilled.

International agencies are also distributing grain, but this is still not enough, and many go to bed hungry.

The hunt for food is on throughout the day, with every family member taking part. One never knows who will come back with a packet for the entire family.

For the first time people, and especially children, have started begging for food. Aid agencies say they are running out of stock, and if nothing is done urgently, the situation will only get worse.