September 19, 2018
The Rohingya Refugee Crisis: One Year On
“Ever since the typhoon my daughter suffers from anxiety attacks as soon as she sees military units or when it starts raining…She doesn’t want to hear about the typhoon anymore, she also struggles to express herself. It is true that Filipinos still put on smiles, they try to stay positive but we have to be realistic: it’s going to be hard to overcome this ordeal. In December, we managed to get some food from the government. But starting in January, we won’t be receiving anything anymore. For the moment media attention is focused on the hardships Filipinos face but tomorrow another disaster will hit another country and everyone will forget about us.
The price of food has doubled, even tripled, in Tacloban. My sister earns 5000 pesos a month and supports the entire family. But 5000 pesos is only sufficient to buy food for everyone for a single day. What will happen when everyone is hungry? They will get angry, and will try to steal food from other people’s place, from us. Our shelter is so fragile, only a tarp and a few sticks of wood…we won’t be able to protect ourselves in case of attack. I am aware there is a chance that we will not survive the next month, my family and me.
I try to stay hopeful though. After my family, hope is the only thing that I have left. I don’t like to say that we are victims. It is too negative. I prefer to tell myself that in fact we are survivors.”