Journalist Verena Hölzl moved to Myanmar to cover the country’s transition from junta rule to democracy. What she found was even more complex.
In this Reporter’s View, Hölzl describes the night-and-day experiences of travelling between her home city of Yangon in Myanmar, where anti-Rohingya sentiment dominates, and the teeming refugee camps of Bangladesh, now home to nearly one million Rohingya.
“It just felt like going back and forth between two completely different worlds,” she says. “In Myanmar, you would have people take to the streets in support of the military, while on the other side of the border I witnessed this humanitarian crisis.”
Hölzl has continued to cover the story both in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Her reporting for The New Humanitarian has explored immense violence and deprivation – but also the more mundane aspects of daily life in the middle of an emergency.
“The Rohingya aren’t only victims,” she says. “As journalists we also owe them the stories that humanise them.”
Right now, we’re working with contributors on the ground in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to tell the stories of people enduring and responding to a rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis.
We’re documenting the threats to humanitarian response in the country and providing a platform for those bearing the brunt of the invasion. Our goal is to bring you the truth at a time when disinformation is rampant.
But while much of the world’s focus may be on Ukraine, we are continuing our reporting on myriad other humanitarian disasters – from Haiti to the Sahel to Afghanistan to Myanmar. We’ve been covering humanitarian crises for more than 25 years, and our journalism has always been free, accessible for all, and – most importantly – balanced.
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