Cate Blanchett called for increased aid during her visit to Bangladesh.
More than 670,000 men, women and children have fled to Bangladesh in recent months, escaping persecution in their native Myanmar.
And while the United Nations has been working tirelessly to help vulnerable Rohingya Muslims now living in refugee camps, one A-lister has called for extra support.
Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett visited camps in Kutupalong, Nyapara and Chakmarkul last month, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees revealed, where she met those seeking safety.
The Carol star heard the tales of families forced to leave their homes, as she warned of a “race against time” to protect refugees from the upcoming monsoon season.
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett met young Rohingya refugees at a UNHCR funded Temporary Learning Centre in Kutupalong refugee settlement . Currently only 135,273 girls and boys have access to education with a further 258,727 children between the ages of 3-24 in need. The main issues slowing the progress are related to the overall lack of space within the camp and the lack of a validated learning framework. There is also a lack of land availability for Temporary Learning Centres: there are 1,110 learning spaces but it is estimated that 1,790 more are needed to reach all children in need between the ages 3-14. . Blanchett, on return from a recent visit to Bangladesh has called for urgent action to support UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – and its partners, working with the Government of Bangladesh, to avoid an “emergency within an emergency” as the upcoming monsoon season in Bangladesh threatens the safety of more than one hundred thousand Rohingya refugees. . UNHCR/Hector Perez. #CateBlanchett #Rohingya #Bangladesh #monsoon #refugees
Camps are at risk of floods and landslides when the rain hits, which Blanchett said could cause an “emergency within an emergency”, according to UNHCR.
More than 100,000 Rohingya refugees living in congested settlements could be affected by the weather.
“The Rohingya refugees have already experienced targeted violence, human rights abuses and horrific journeys. They have shown unimaginable resilience and courage,” Blanchett said in a statement.
“But now, as the monsoon season approaches, the Government of Bangladesh, supported by UNHCR and its partners, are in race against time to ensure the refugees are as safe as they can be to deal with potential floods and landslides.”
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett watches a music performance at Kutupalong refugee settlement. . Heavy rains, potential cyclones and adverse weather conditions are threatening to put more than one hundred thousand Rohingya refugees living in congested settlements in Cox’s Bazar district, south-eastern Bangladesh, at serious risk in the coming months. Our UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett is warning of a “race against time” to protect Rohingya refugees from the worst impacts of the upcoming monsoon season in Bangladesh. . UNHCR/Hector Perez. #CateBlanchett #Rohingya #Bangladesh #monsoon #refugees
While acknowledging the work of UNHCR, its partners and the government of Bangladesh, the Australian-born actress said “more [aid] is urgently needed to ensure refugees stay safe”.
“I cannot stress how much more help is needed for these vulnerable stateless refugees, the majority of whom are women and children,” said Blanchett.
“This is the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, the monsoons are coming and it is critical that the international community, private sector and individuals all do what they can to support these stateless refugees and the communities hosting them.”
The star isn’t the first to reach out to refugees on the ground either – Queen Rania of Jordan visited Bangladesh in October to meet with families.
“Just walking around the camp today, the residents have spoken to me of unimaginable acts of violence that they have witnessed,” the royal said during her tour.
“Before coming here, I had braced myself to witness some desperate conditions, but the stories I heard today were heartbreaking and harrowing.”
HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein have also called for world powers to step in, as well as organising multiple shipments of aid to Bangladesh.
كلّي فخر بفريق المدينة العالمية للخدمات الإنسانية وجميع أعضائها. خلال الساعات 48 الماضية قاموا بنقل أكثر من 198 طناً من المساعدات الإغاثية الضرورية قيمتها أكثر من مليوني درهم (ما يعادل ٦٠٧ آلاف دولار) من دبي إلى مخيمات اللاجئين الروهينجا في بنغلاديش. هذه المساعدات التي انطلقت على متن طائرات خصصها صاحب السمو الشيخ محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم تغيث المحتاجين، وتساعد في الحيلولة دون وقوع أزمات صحيّة ومعاناة إضافية لهم، خصوصاً وأنّ هذه المخيمات تستعدّ لقدوم موسم الأمطار الموسمية الذي يجلب معه الأمطار والسيول. Incredibly proud of the team at International Humanitarian City and its members. In the last 48 hours they have transported over 198 metric tons of urgently needed relief items worth US$607,000 (2.2 million AED), from Dubai to the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, using planes generously provided by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The flights will deliver essential supplies to those in need, helping to avert potential health crises and further suffering as the Rohingya refugee camps prepare for the arrival of the monsoon season.
Just this week, Princess Haya revealed that a further Dhs2.2 million worth of supplies had been flown to Rohingya refugee camps on plane provided by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“The flights will deliver essential supplies to those in need, helping to avert potential health crises and further suffering as the Rohingya refugee camps prepare for the arrival of the monsoon season,” the royal added on Instagram.