Burma Times Correspondent: July 13, 2015
A large volume of aid given to refugees are vanishing through the middlemen in the camps of Bangladesh.
Refugees say some of their local leaders and ‘Maulavis’ are involved in this corruption.
In the aftermath of the migrant crisis, there has been unparalleled publicity and subsequent sympathy for the Rohingyas, especially throughout the Muslim world. As a result, a high amount of relief is reaching the Rohingya camps during the Ramadan time.
But sources say that often when the aid is given through long established community leaders and ‘religious clerics’, much of it is misplaced. Many times, foreign donors, themselves devout Muslims trust community leaders and religious clerics who seem to be well versed in Islam. However, when the donors don’t oversee the relief operations themselves, much of the time, the ‘Maulavis’ keep a huge chunk for themselves and their people.
While some community leaders in the refugee camps mean well, years of corruption, a common practice in this part of the world, have crept through the rank and file of many Rohingya leaders and religious clerics in the camps. Many have been known to be involved in human trafficking of fellow Rohingyas while posing to be devout Muslims.
Many poor refugees in the camp complain that it seems those who get the aid just keep getting it, while most people receive only negligible help. Living conditions in the Bangladeshi refugee camps are horrific and many deserve aid, but rarely get it as they don’t carry favours with the community leaders.
In light of the current situation, refugees have requested foreign donors to personally oversee aid operations.