Rohingyas in Aceh Urgently Need Prepared Meal Packages

Dozens of meal packages were distributed by ACT to 81 Rohingya refugees who were stranded on Idaman Island, Aceh. They were tossed around in the ocean for 113 years.

rohingyas in aceh
Rohingya refugees stranded in Aceh received food assistance from ACT. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, ACEH – For 113 days, 81 Rohingya refugees were drifting in the sea. Using only one simple boat with a capacity of 90 people, the refugees were huddled together. Eight of them died and one got lost in the sea during the long journey. They were exhausted when their ship finally anchored at Idaman Island, Gampong Kuala Simpang Ulim, Simpang Ulim District, East Aceh Regency, Friday (6/4/2021).

Responding to this, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) immediately deployed the team to perform assessments and provide meal packages. In total, 95 meal packages were distributed on Sunday (6/6/2021). "This is a form of solidarity for our Muslim brothers and sisters. Insha Allah, their needs, especially food, will be fulfilled," said Hidayatullah from the ACT Lhokseumawe Program Department.

One of the refugees admitted that they fled from a poor refugee camp in Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh. Inadequate housing, difficult access to clean water, and unemployment have forced them to try their luck in another asylum country.

“Right now, the Rohingya refugees still need help. They came to Indonesia without bringing many possessions. They did this because they had to after they had been expelled from their homeland,” added Hidayatullah.

Previously, waves of Rohingya refugees have arrived in Aceh. In 2017 a number of Rohingya refugees fled to Aceh to escape a crackdown by Myanmar's armed forces. At that time, ACT also provided humanitarian assistance in the form of food, psychosocial assistance, health services, and various other kinds of aid. []