Statement from ICRC President Peter Maurer following his visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh: "This is a lose-lose situation for people"

ICRC Statement
03 July 2018

Dhaka (ICRC) – I am leaving this region with a sober assessment of the situation here. I travelled to both sides of the border – to the northern parts of Rakhine State where people had fled violence in huge numbers and to the camps of Cox’s Bazar.

I met those who stayed and those who left and it is clear that people are suffering on both sides. People lack secure housing, electricity, latrines, medicine and health care. There are few options for people to earn an income to allow them to move beyond aid and emergency conditions.

Over a million people live in misery, held hostage to a profoundly unsettling contradiction.

Those sheltering in the camps of Cox’s Bazar live in shocking conditions that violate human dignity. With the monsoons arriving, their lives will only get worse. They cannot stay and they cannot return.

I cannot claim that life for those in Rakhine State is significantly better. In this remote, rarely-visited area, we drove through the areas where villages once stood. Little remains now, and the vegetation is rapidly reclaiming the land. In other parts, former schools and health centres stand empty.

In one village I visited, less than a quarter of the population remains, only 2,000 of the original 9,000 villagers. I spoke with all communities - Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu. They described how the social fabric and local economy have been destroyed, making people entirely reliant on humanitarian aid.

The conditions are simply not there for large numbers of people to return home.

If I look at the landscape today, I cannot help but think: in 20 years’ time will we find ourselves in exactly the same place as we are now, with huge numbers of people still scratching out a desperate existence in these camps? The children I met deserve a better future. They must not become a new generation living in ‘emergency' conditions.

We owe it to them to avoid this outcome. For humanitarian reasons alone, something has to change. Our collective best efforts must break this intractable situation and address its root causes. The ICRC is keen to play its part.

Our colleagues on both sides responded as quickly as possible after the crisis began in August 2017. As one of the first responders in Cox’s Bazar, the ICRC has been able to meet the most urgent needs of people living along the border areas including the host communities.

In Myanmar we are doubling the distribution of food rations, to help communities during the monsoon season as many areas become inaccessible.

These are lifesaving measures but they are not long-term solutions. People need sustainable answers and they need hope for the future.

Efforts of all actors are being stretched, and resources are getting scarce. Host communities in Cox’s Bazar, who opened their arms to welcome displaced people despite having very little themselves, are overwhelmed as well. Our micro-economic initiatives, launched last week, will support their income-generation activities and eventually overcome their economic struggles.

But humanitarian assistance alone will not solve this problem. A better future for the people here will need inclusive political solutions, environmentally sustainable economic investment and a strong commitment to international humanitarian law and human rights.

I am not here to apportion blame. There has been no shortage of initiatives to solve the problem. Both governments are making efforts and I’m convinced of their goodwill. During my visit I was able to meet with H.E. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor, and H.E. U Win Myint, President of Myanmar, and Senior General U Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services, as well as with H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh. A meeting with H.E. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, will take place today before I return to Switzerland.

We’ve also seen the excellent recommendations from Kofi Annan's Commission, which we support. Humanitarian organisations too are doing their best to alleviate the suffering.

But so far, despite all the talking and all the efforts, too little has changed for the people there.

Conditions to return will require not only humanitarian and mitigating activities, but also effective political steps towards ensuring freedom of movement; access to basic services; freedom to undertake economic activity and access to markets in Rakhine; and most importantly trust in security arrangements for returnees.

In both countries I visited I was moved by the stories about the impact of ICRC’s work for individuals and communities over the decades, from detention visits to health care to humanitarian negotiation and diplomacy. The ICRC will continue to play its part in responding to this humanitarian crisis in both Myanmar and Bangladesh.

 

NOTE: The twitter link has Peter Maurer’s statement directly from Cox’s Bazar. https://twitter.com/PMaurerICRC/status/1013359906835976192

Video footage and stills of the President’s trip and the ICRC and Red Cross Movement’s work in Rakhine and in Cox’s Bazar are available here: http://www.icrcnewsroom.org/open.asp?ID=2660&title=ICRC_President_in_Myanmar___Bangladesh___Food_Aid_Essential_In_Myanmar_
http://www.icrcnewsroom.org/open.asp?ID=2656&title=Rare_Footage_From_Rakhinehttp://www.icrcnewsroom.org/open.asp?ID=2660&title=ICRC_President_in_Myanmar___Bangladesh___Food_Aid_Essential_In_Myanmar__State__Isolation_And__Communities_In_Need

http://www.icrcnewsroom.org/open.asp?ID=2653&title=Cox_s_Bazar__Bangladesh__Bamboo_Sticks_and_Plastic_Bags__Trying_to_Stay_Alive_in_the_Monsoon

For further information, please contact:

Graziella Leite Piccoli, ICRC Bangkok, tel: +66 81 9501270, email: gleitepiccolo@icrc.org

Anna Schaaf, ICRC Dhaka, tel: +88 017 30329307, email: aschaaf@icrc.org

Rayhan Sultana Toma, ICRC Dhaka, tel: +88 017 55621456, email: rsultanatoma@icrc.org

Sanela Bajrambasic, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 2173217, email: sbajrambasic@icrc.org

Visit our website: www.icrc.org/en/where-we-work/asia-pacific/bangladesh; ww.icrc.org/en/where-we-work/asia-pacific/myanmar or

Follow the ICRC on facebook.com/icrc and twitter.com/ICRC_AsiaPac
To preview and download the latest ICRC video footage in broadcast quality, go to www.icrcvideonewsroom.org
To find out what the ICRC is doing to put an end to attacks on health workers and patients, go to www.healthcareindanger.org

©2020 Rdeči križ Slovenije Oblikovanje in izdelava spletne strani Kabi d.o.o.

Spletna stran uporablja piškotke. Z uporabo piškotkov omogočamo boljšo uporabniško izkušnjo.
Obvezni piškotki – Posamezni piškotki so nujni za delovanje spletne strani in jih ni moč onemogočiti.
Statistika – Dovoljujem anonimno spremljanje statistike obiska.

Več o uporabi piškotkov

Uporaba piškotkov na naši spletni strani

Pravna podlaga

Podlaga za obvestilo je spremenjeni Zakon o elektronskih komunikacijah (Uradni list št. 109/2012; v nadaljevanju ZEKom-1), ki je začel veljati v začetku leta 2013. Prinesel je nova pravila glede uporabe piškotkov in podobnih tehnologij za shranjevanje informacij ali dostop do informacij, shranjenih na računalniku ali mobilni napravi uporabnika.

Kaj so piškotki?

Piškotki so majhne datoteke, pomembne za delovanje spletnih strani, največkrat z namenom, da je uporabnikova izkušnja boljša.

Piškotek običajno vsebuje zaporedje črk in številk, ki se naloži na uporabnikov računalnik, ko ta obišče določeno spletno stran. Ob vsakem ponovnem obisku bo spletna stran pridobila podatek o naloženem piškotku in uporabnika prepoznala.

Poleg funkcije izboljšanja uporabniške izkušnje je njihov namen različen. Piškotki se lahko uporabljajo tudi za analizo vedenja ali prepoznavanje uporabnikov. Zato ločimo različne vrste piškotkov.

Vrste piškotkov, ki jih uporabljamo na tej spletni strani

Piškotki, ki jih uporabljamo na tej strani sledijo smernicam:

1. Nujno potrebni piškotki

Tovrstni piškotki omogočajo uporabo nujno potrebnih komponent za pravilno delovanje spletne strani. Brez teh piškotov servisi, ki jih želite uporabljati na tej spletni strani, ne bi delovali pravilno (npr. prijava, nakupni proces, ...).

2. Izkustveni piškotki

Tovrstni piškotki zbirajo podatke, kako se uporabniki vedejo na spletni strani z namenom izboljšanja izkustvene komponente spletne strani (npr. katere dele spletne strani obiskujejo najpogosteje). Ti piškotki ne zbirajo informacij, preko katerih bi lahko identificirali uporabnika.

3. Funkcionalni piškotki

Tovrstni piškotki omogočajo spletni strani, da si zapomni nekatere vaše nastavitve in izbire (npr. uporabniško ime, jezik, regijo) in zagotavlja napredne, personalizirane funkcije. Tovrstni piškotki lahko omogočajo sledenje vašim akcijam na spletni strani.

4. Oglasni ali ciljani piškotki

Tovrstne piškotke najpogosteje uporabljajo oglaševalska in družabna omrežja (tretje strani) z namenom, da vam prikažejo bolj ciljane oglase, omejujejo ponavljanje oglasov ali merijo učinkovitost oglaševalskih akcij. Tovrstni piškotki lahko omogočajo sledenje vašim akcijam na spletu.

Nadzor piškotkov

Za uporabo piškotkov se odločate sami. Piškotke lahko vedno odstranite in s tem odstranite vašo prepoznavnost na spletu. Prav tako večino brskalnikov lahko nastavite tako, da piškotkov ne shranjujejo.

Za informacije o možnostih posameznih brskalnikov predlagamo, da si ogledate nastavitve.

Upravljalec piškotkov

Rdeči križ Slovenije