This week, in a stifling hot room in Malaysia filled with more than 50 Rohingya refugees, my own work with the community came full circle. I was sitting among dozens of people who had fled the very same displacement camps in Sittwe, Myanmar that I had visited twice before in 2012 and 2014. When I arrived in September 2012, Rohingya were still entering the camps and there was almost no clean water, food, or shelter. People were literally starving. It was the worst situation I had ever witnessed.
The civil conflict that has engulfed the Central African Republic for more than two years has displaced nearly 20 percent of the 4.6 million population, both internally and in neighboring countries. In the past year, certain parts of CAR have stabilized, including the capital, Bangui, and international donors have begun to turn their attention toward early recovery programs and planning for national elections. But the crisis is not over. Areas of conflict and volatility have simply shifted as rebel groups and militias relocate throughout the country. Strong humanitarian support from donors is essential to mitigate the impact of continuing violence, and aid agencies must take steps to ensure that the aid systems in place are as effective as possible.
Refugees International (RI) advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises.
We are an independent organization, and do not accept any government or UN funding.