CARE is working rapidly to provide urgent food and assistance to hundreds of thousands of people who have arrived in Bangladesh after fleeing intense violence in Myanmar.
Over just three weeks almost 400,000 people from Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State have made the hazardous journey to Bangladesh to escape conflict. By the end of this month, that number could reach 500,000.
“The situation of the refugees is worsening by the minute. They came to Bangladesh with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. They walked for long distances to reach safety,” CARE Bangladesh Country Director Zia Choudhury said.
CARE assessment teams have described living conditions as the worst they’ve ever seen, with fears the rainy season will further escalate humanitarian needs.
“In Cox’s Bazar, close to the Myanmar border, families are sleeping in fields and on muddy paths. They have nowhere else to go. The people who have fled Rakhine State are in desperate need of clean drinking water, food, medical help and a safe place to sleep,” Mr Choudhury said.
The continuing rainy season could worsen the already dire circumstances.
Children account for more than half of those who have fled, with many arriving unaccompanied or separated from their families. Eighty per cent of the refugees are women, children and small babies, who face even higher risks during emergency crises.
As humanitarian needs escalate, CARE has begun initial distributions of food to thousands of people, but the scale of this crisis means more help is needed. CARE is working with the Bangladeshi Government and local partners to deliver emergency food supplies, clean water and sanitation facilities to those in need.
Donations to support CARE’s emergency response can be made at care.org.au/bangladesh or by calling 1800 020 046.
To arrange interviews with CARE staff in Bangladesh or Myanmar, please contact CARE Australia Media Advisor Stephanie Juleff on 0412 449 691 or firstname.lastname@example.org