Myanmar refugee crisis: Fleeing from violence into chaos
Jannat Ara lost track of her husband while they were fleeing for their lives from an attack on her village in Myanmar. She managed to cross the border to Bangladesh with her 10-month-old child, but she doesn’t know what happened to her husband.
And she doesn’t know what the future holds for her and her baby.
She is one of an estimated 436,000 refugees who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in the past month. Many are still moving around the area, seeking shelter and assistance.
Tens of thousands of new arrivals have nothing with which to make a shelter, or are making temporary structures wherever they can find space. In refugee camps and settlements, overcrowding and heavy rains mean conditions are grim.
CARE’s own assessments and those of other humanitarian agencies highlight that people are in urgent need of every type of humanitarian assistance – with shelter, food, nutrition and health needs the most urgent. The poor conditions and lack of health services in the camps means there is a real risk of outbreaks of disease.
Around 80% of the refugees are estimated to be women and children and the physical and mental health of survivors of gender-based violence is a major concern, with numerous reports of rape and other forms of gender-based violence having been experienced by refugees as they fled from the violence in Myanmar. The trauma of fleeing violence and the effects of bereavement are also of concern.
What CARE is doing
CARE Bangladesh has completed a rapid needs assessment and gender analysis and is working with local NGOs and other international humanitarian agencies, in cooperation with the government of Bangladesh, to coordinate a response. So far we have provided cooked food and shelter items to 4,650 refugees, but the level of need remains immense, and much more help is needed.
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