Refugees refuse rations in camps

Teknaf, Bangladesh: Burmese Rohingya registered refugees of Nayapara and Kutupalong camps refused to accept rations on August 6 because the old original ration books had been seized after replacing of “new ration cards” by the concerned authority, Hashim, a refugee from the Nayapara camp said.
“The old ration books were provided among the Rohingya refugees by the UNHCR and Bangladesh government in 1991-1992 when refugees intruded into Bangladesh from Burma.”

Mostly refugees entered the Bangladesh from Burma because of human rights abuses and persecution against the Rohingya community by the Burmese authority, Hashim more added.

According to refugees, Bangladesh concerned authority and UNHCR checked every refugee families and took fingerprints from two head members of family for “new food cards” last month.

The World Food Program (WFP) started to give rations to the refugees after seizing the old ration books by the camp authority on August 6. So, the refugees refused to accept rations, said a refugee leader from Kutupalong camp.

” We will take rations, if we do not have to deposit our old holding ration books in place of ” new Food Cards,” according to refugees.

However, Jalal, the camp-in-charge of Nayapara camp called some of the refugees and camp leaders regarding the matter on August 7 and will discuss whether they will receive rations, or not, said a camp leader.

Yesterday, refugees bought rice from outside as they refused to accept rations from the camp with new ration cards after depositing the old ones. So, the price of rice is shooting up in the camp, one Kilogram of rice was being sold at Taka 25 yesterday, which was selling at Taka 22 the day before yesterday.

A refugee leader from Nayapara camp preferring not to be named said, “We are refugees and want to keep ration book as document. Why do the authorities of Bangladesh do not want to give us the old ration books?

The refugees of both official Nayapara and Kutupalong camps refused to accept rations yesterday and  where over 23,000 refugees are living in two camps.

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