Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims face worsening humanitarian crisis with refugee camps at breaking point

Almost half a million Rohingya have fled Myanmar in the last few weeks. Credit: ITV News

The road from the Bangladesh-Myanmar border is lined with Rohingya refugees.

There are groups of women clutching their babies, old men, women and children who can walk no further.

There are those who are injured, pregnant and disabled.

All of them are exhausted, starving and searching for safety.

Occasionally a truck will stop and those on board will throw out clothes, biscuits or bottles of water, sparking a frenzy.

Mostly the men and children snatching at whatever they can.

It is an entirely inadequate way to distribute aid in such a desperate situation, but with several of the international relief organisations tied up in Bangladesh bureaucracy, and their own protocols, it has been left to local charities and businesses to take it upon themselves to offer what help they can.

Almost half a million Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh in the space of three weeks, but it was only today that we saw the first sign of some order being brought to the relief situation.

We visited a World Food Programme distribution point which aims to feed 50,000 people, initially with high energy biscuits, but rice, it’s hoped, will follow in the coming days.

There is an acute lack of food, water, shelter and medical supplies, and it is into this humanitarian crisis that children are being born.

The situation is causing a humanitarian crisis. Credit: ITV News
There is an acute lack of food, water, shelter and medical supplies. Credit: ITV News

While we were filming in one of the biggest camps, Kutapulong, we were told a baby girl had just been born.

We were led up to a hillside tent where Marium Khatum was with her two-hours old daughter.

Marium Khatum's daughter was just two-hours old when ITV News met her. Credit: ITV News
The baby's mother was just grateful that she was born in safety. Credit: ITV News

The family had fled their village in Myanmar ten days ago.

They said it was attacked and burnt down by Burmese soldiers.

For almost a week they walked to get to Bangladesh, with little food or water.

Marium told me it was terrifying but she is glad she and her baby are now safe.

The tarpaulin roof over her head is enough to make her happy after what she and her family have been through.

Marium Khatum gave birth in one of the shelters. Credit: ITV News

On Tuesday Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar, will make her first speech on the Rohingya exodus.

She has been condemned for her silence on the issue and for claiming that there is "an iceberg of misinformation" surrounding the reports from refugees of their villages being burned and of people being slaughtered.

There seems little chance of her using the address to accept that the Myanmar Army has been carrying out nothing less than the systematic eradication of a Muslim minority.

There are almost no Rohingya left in Myanmar. Credit: ITV News
The UN has described the situation as 'ethnic cleansing'. Credit: ITV News