Priyanka urges world to step up support for Rohingya women, children

Priyanka Chopra, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, gives an interview to The Associated Press at the UNICEF Country Office in Amman, Jordan, Sunday, Sep. 10, 2017. Chopra said the world needs to do more to help those displaced by war -- through individual donations if governments won't step up. The Bollywood veteran who is increasingly making her mark in the U.S. also said Sunday that she didn't realize until working in America that it's "difficult for a woman of color" to be cast in a wide range of roles. (AP Photo/Lindsey Leger)

DHAKA: Bollywood actress and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Priyanka Chopra called on the international community on Thursday to step up support for Rohingya women and children who fled to Bangladesh from a military crackdown in Myanmar.

A military response to insurgent attacks in northern Rakhine state last August pushed almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims across the border to Bangladesh, many accusing security forces of killings, rape and arson.

“Every child deserves a future, an opportunity to contribute to humanity,” Chopra told a news conference in Dhaka after a four-day visit to Rohingya refugee camps at Cox’s Bazar on the southern tip of Bangladesh.

“Refugee children are the world’s responsibility because they don’t have anywhere to go. They don’t have anything they can call their own,” she said.
Priyanka urges world to step up support for Rohingya women, children

The United Nations has described the military crackdown as “ethnic cleansing,” which Myanmar has denied, saying its security forces were conducting a legitimate counter-insurgency operation against “terrorists.”

Chopra urged the international community to tackle the issue of Rohingya children living without basic rights to food, clean water, shelter, proper sanitation and education.

“There’s so much more to be done. They need your money, time, compassion,” she said.

In March the United Nations launched an appeal for $951 million to help the Rohingya refugees for the rest of the year, but it remains less than 20 percent funded.

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