This boy spends time at the Red Cross Red Crescent Field Hospital's child-friendly space while his mum is treated at the outpatients clinic. Photo: IFRC/Victor Lacken
Alongside teams of committed local volunteers and other agencies, we have built centralised chlorinated water distribution systems. Where toilet waste flowed down hillsides, faecal sludge treatment plants are in operation improving hygiene in leaps and bounds.
Graded roads have replaced muddy tracks. Everyone has been vaccinated to prevent deadly outbreaks of cholera. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in vital infrastructure, from clean water systems to safe sewage disposal. Our teams have shored up landslide-prone hillsides and homes faced with cyclones and monsoon floods.
The biggest challenge for the Government of Bangladesh and all agencies working in the camps is to ensure the upkeep of these essential services.
Over the past year, there have been several attempts to encourage people to return home. Many would love to return to their villages if safety could be guaranteed.
There must be a political solution to this crisis, as many are unwilling to return home to Rakhine State without guarantee of citizenship status. There is no end in sight for the people here. It is the responsibility of international aid organisations and governments to find medium and long-term solutions.
Red Cross teams setting up a field hospital. Photo: Finnish Red Cross/Benjamin Suomela
People here are running makeshift schools and they run bustling markets, shops and other trade. There must be investment in formal education, skills training, jobs and livelihoods that allow a more dignified existence for the people of Rakhine.