Burma Times: 16 Feb 2015
Refugees in Leda camp in Bangladesh are in dire straits as the Muslim Aid announced the permanent closure of all its activities.
Residents of Leda camp have been facing acute water shortages and lack of medical care since late January when the UK based NGO suspended operations following Bangladesh government pressure.
Children have been worst affected as a diarrhoea epidemic broke out following water shortages. The situation was worsened after the medical staff of the organisation was also pulled out.
The NGO operations were suspended after the EU said it would not be funding them anymore after concerns by the Bangladesh government that the group was involved with an Islamist outfit.
The government and Bangladesh media say that Muslim Aid has close contacts with the country’s largest Islamist outfit Jamaat-e-Islami. The group is unpopular among many Bangladeshis for its role in genocide committed during the country’s bloody independence war.
Muslim Aid denies the allegation.
The decision to close humanitarian aid at the refugee camp comes amidst evicition of thousands of Rohingya refugees from another spot in the area. Many evicted refugees were eyeing the Leda refugee camp had to settle for shleters along the roads and the hills where they face insecurity.
Camp residents are fearful of their future in Leda but say they have no other place to go.