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A literacy class in Sierra Leone

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. 

More than 500,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed the border into Bangladesh since late August 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.

Those fleeing to the border have walked for miles, and for days on end. They have no money for food or shelter. Many mothers are escaping with new-born babies. With limited medical facilities, people are sick and at risk of serious disease.

 

Humaira's story

A literacy class in Sierra Leone 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.

The family endured an exhausting journey, walking for many days. Eventually they reached Bangladesh where they took refuge in a camp.

When we met her, she was carrying a tarpaulin sheet, but with limited space in the camp, she couldn't find a patch of land to set up a small shelter.

As you can see pictured, Humaira’s baby has since been born. Caring for a newborn baby alone is challenging enough, but the added stress of doing so in a cramped refugee camp, with three young children and an elderly mother, is unthinkable.

We are determined to help mothers and vulnerable people like Humaira with essential supplies to survive through these conditions. 

 

The situation in Myanmar

Horrific violence persists in Myanmar, with entire villages burned. Neighbourhoods have become like ghost towns.

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.

We need to act now. Please donate to our Rohingya Crisis Appeal today to help all communities displaced.

 

A literacy class in Sierra Leone

A literacy class in Sierra Leone

A literacy class in Sierra Leone

A literacy class in Sierra Leone

 

A literacy class in Sierra Leone

How we're responding

Through our Rohingya Crisis Appeal, we will help all communities displaced by violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, and Rohingya Muslims who have crossed the border into Bangladesh as refugees.

In Bangladesh, we are sending £40,000/€43,400 to our local partners to provide food, clean water and sanitation support to 23,000 people, and to support healthcare.

We need to scale up our response. We need to raise as much as we can to reach more vulnerable displaced people in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

We’ve been working through local partners this year to support all communities displaced by violence in Rakhine State.

Permission to work in refugee camps in Bangladesh has until now been limited to a handful of NGOs, but authorities in Bangladesh are now willing to accept further support. We are working with authorities in both countries to secure permission to work with affected groups. 

A literacy class in Sierra Leone


Eyewitness

A literacy class in Sierra Leone

Christian Aid Ireland CEO Rosamond Bennett visited Myanmar in 2016. She writes:

'Tell the people where you live to forget about my identity, forget about my religion and just think of me as a human being. I'm struggling and I need help.'

I was incredibly moved when an elderly Muslim woman said these words to me during my visit to Myanmar in October 2016.

In some areas of the country there were Christians, forced from their land by fighting between military and rebel groups.

In other parts, were Muslim and Buddhist communities driven from their villages by conflict between these communities.

I met families struggling to survive, to get enough food, and with no means of earning money.

Christian Aid Ireland carries the hopes of these people through our work in conflict-torn areas.

A literacy class in Sierra Leone

 

 

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