Queen Rania of Jordan was interviewed by CNN news anchor Christiane Amanpour earlier this week about her visit to the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, saying that “misery stared right back at you.”
Queen Rania visited the refugee camp on Monday in her capacity as board member of the International Rescue Committee and advocate for UN humanitarian agencies.
“I don’t think anything could’ve prepared me for the heart-wrenching situation I saw firsthand and the different accounts that I heard from the people I spoke to,” the Queen told Amanpour.
“Everywhere you stared at the camp, misery stared right back at you.”
Violence against the Rohingya people has escalated since August in Myanmar, causing more than 600,000 refugees to flee into Bangladesh, in the Ukhia region.
“I saw families who were crammed in flimsy bamboo shelters, sometimes upward of 50-60 people in a small shelter,” said the Queen.
“Everybody was scrambling for space, for scarce resources. Food, water. It was really quite horrific what I saw.”
The Queen explained how the overcrowded refugees are suffering, and that 95% don’t have access to clean water. She also said that three-fourths were not getting enough food and that health services were stretched very thin.
“There were so many children, and very often most of them were not accompanied by caregivers or their families. And when I spoke to them I heard harrowing stories of how they’d seen siblings, their moms and dads being shot before their eyes.”
Queen Rania spoke to the media at the Kutupalong camp, saying “I urge the UN and the international community to do all that they can to stop the suffering and the violence that is being committed against the Rohingya Muslims, not because it is our job to do so, but because that is what justice demands.”