After weeks of conflict in northern Myanmar, 400,000 Rohingyas so far have fled for their lives.
This mass exodus could swell to one million people in the coming months. Some have walked for days in the jungle, crossing the border on foot with what little they could carry. Others are arriving by makeshift boats into neighbouring Bangladesh exhausted, hungry, and without shelter.
Children, women, and the elderly are the most vulnerable during the monsoon rains and as winter approaches. They need emergency shelter, safe drinking water, and health care.
PRESS RELEASE: 17 September 2017
Photo: ©UNHCR/Adam Dean
Following renewed tensions in northern Rakhine State in Myanmar on 25 August, entire villages from the Rohingya community started fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh. It is estimated that approximately 400,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border in the past three weeks, arriving by foot and boat. UNHCR camps are already full and resources are being stretched. The incoming refugees are staying in makeshift tents and urgently need shelter, food, safe drinking water, and medical care.
Medair has been closely monitoring the situation since the start of the crisis to assess how best to meet the needs of the affected people. The Medair emergency response team will travel to Dhaka tomorrow and look at assessing needs in the area around Cox’s Bazaar, where most refugees are pouring into. Prior to this new influx, Cox's Bazar District in Bangladesh was already hosting almost 213,000 Rohingya refugees.
“It is estimated that the number of refugees could increase to one million in the next few months. With the monsoon season currently ongoing and the winter starting in October, the situation is urgent”, says James McDowell, Head of Medair’s Global Emergency Response Team. “The key needs at the moment are shelter and safe drinking water. Consequently, we are deploying a team to assess how best we can provide assistance as soon as possible.”
Medair is also working in Myanmar, providing shelter, cash, and disaster risk reduction services to vulnerable communities.