WORLD VISION INTERNATIONAL -- Global children’s charity World Vision is urging world leaders to join forces at the UN General Assembly and press for peace in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
More than 400,000 people have fled the conflict in neighbouring Bangladesh, with children and families caught up in violence and cross-fire. Refugees World Vision has interviewed in Bangladesh have reported witnessing abominable brutality and arson.
The US and UK representatives at the Assembly have called for greater humanitarian access to people displaced by, or returning home following the violence.
International humanitarian aid has been restricted in the entire state of Rakhine. Along with almost all international agencies, World Vision is unable to deliver aid in the northern part of Rakhine State, and is requesting access to support conflict-affected communities.
Chris Derksen-Hiebert, World Vision’s Director of Policy and External Relations says: “Children are bearing the brunt of this violence, witnessing horrors, losing family members, fleeing their homes with nowhere to go. Three weeks ago, we were reaching more than 20,000 people with food, including 7,000 young children. Today, we are feeding no-one.
“Horrific violence has prevented us from reaching those most in need,” says Derksen-Hiebert.
“More than ever, we are seeing children caught in the crossfire of adult wars. Over a quarter of the world’s children now live in countries affected by conflict, crisis and disaster. They are witnessing and experiencing every form of violence imaginable.
“Children and families from Rakhine State, and those on the Bangladesh side of the border who are struggling to cope with the influx of people, deserve better. We want to see a commitment from leaders gathered at the UN this week, to protect vulnerable children and help broker peace where it’s needed most. The United Nations General Assembly is an opportunity for leaders to commit to doing better by children and start turning words into action.”