Escalating violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in late August 2017 has forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, including many Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh, fearing for their lives.
As of 26 September, more than 429,000 people had crossed the border into Bangladesh and unknown numbers remain displaced in Myanmar. As villages in Myanmar continue to be destroyed, figures are expected to rise, with up to 15,000 people crossing the border each day.
Christian Aid in Myanmar has been working in camps and with conflict-affected communities through local partners in Rakhine State and supports all ethnic groups displaced by violence. Authorities in Bangladesh had until recently limited the NGOs who could work in refugee camps but now seem willing to accept further support and Christian Aid is working to secure permission.
Ram Kishan, Christian Aid’s regional emergency manager in South Asia, said:
“The number of refugees arriving in Bangladesh is rising rapidly – an estimated 15,000 people coming across the border daily – and now monsoon rains causing flooding in the makeshift camps are making the situation even worse. In Myanmar, internally displaced people in Central Rakhine haven’t received regular assistance for days.
“Although civilians in the north of the state are not receiving regular aid, we have local partners there who can respond and scale up their efforts. The humanitarian needs on both sides of the border are mounting up.”
Their campaign page tells the story of Humaira:
Humaira’s husband and father were killed by gunfire in Myanmar. Living amid horrifying violence, at nine months pregnant, you can imagine Humaira’s mounting concern for her unborn baby. She quickly fled her village with her three young children and mother in search of safety.
After an exhausting journey on foot, they reached Bangladesh and took refuge in a camp. Humaira’s baby has since been born and she now cares for a newborn in a cramped refugee camp, with three young children and an elderly mother.
With entire villages burnt in violent attacks, the scale of the displacement is horrifying.
Many displaced people from northern Rakhine remain in the country, surviving in camps. Supplies are dwindling. Families are in desperate need of food supplies, clean water and medical care. The situation has worsened with recent flooding affecting makeshift camps and forcing people to move to other areas.
The Bangladesh Government and aid agencies are struggling to cope with the rising needs. Humanitarian agencies are struggling to access people in need in Myanmar.
You can donate to support the Rohingya people through the work of local partners in the countries.