Rohingya refugees moved to camp in Indonesian

A total of 81 Rohingya refugees, whose boat had landed safely in East Aceh coast of Indonesia on June 5, have been moved to a refugee accommodation centre in Medan located further inland.

Dwi Prafitria, UNHCR spokesperson in Jakarta, told IANS by email that the Rohingya refugees were initially being sheltered in Pulau Idaman and they remained there until Wednesday.

“They had been provided food and medical assistance by the local authorities as initial response. UNHCR’s team was present since Saturday (June5) and was coordinating the response,” Prafitria said.

“Vitamin B was distributed to all the refugees to treat malnutrition and prevent possible Beriberi, a serious disease resulting from a vitamin deficiency. They also received food, drinking water, and health assistance from multiple humanitarian organisations,” she said.

All the Rohingya refugees have tested Covid negative and have received the first dose of Covid vaccine. The vaccination camp was organised by the East Aceh government and was assisted by UNHCR and IOM, Prafitria told IANS.

The 81 Rohingya refugees left Bangladesh on February 11 in a group of 90. Within a week, their boat suffered technical malfunction following which they were rescued by the Indian coast guards.

Nine of the refugees died after drinking sea water and due to malnutrition before they were fed and cared for by the Indian coast guards on the Andaman Islands.

When Bangladesh refused to take them, the Indian coast guards fixed their boat and allowed them to sail to Southeast Asia.