TORONTO – UNHCR Canada, the UN Refugee Agency, has received CAD $50,000 from Unifor Social Justice Fund to provide emergency aid to Rohingya refugees.

Since late August, more than 580,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar, where they are a stateless Muslim minority.

The overwhelming majority of those seeking safe haven in Bangladesh are women and children, including newborn babies. Many have arrived with just the clothes on their backs – and the numbers continue to surge. Countless refugees are recounting terrible acts of violence they have experienced or witnessed: seeing their villages burned down, loved ones raped, and family members killed.

UNHCR has been on the ground in Bangladesh leading the emergency response effort by distributing urgently needed supplies such as tents, blankets, sleeping mats and solar lamps. UNHCR is registering Rohingya refugees to reunite children who have been separated from their families, and are delivering psychological and medical treatment to survivors of sexual violence. Thanks to Unifor’s generous gift, donations made to UNHCR’s relief effort in Bangladesh will be matched dollar for dollar up to $50,000 until 31 October, allowing us to increase support sorely needed by thousands of men, women and children.

“As more than half a million Rohingya refugees have found safety in Bangladesh, Unifor Social Justice Fund’s CAD $50,000 contribution will help us, the UN Refugee Agency, to provide shelters to women, children and elderly who have trekked for weeks in the jungle, reunify separated children with their parents and provide them with life-saving medical and nutritional treatment,” said Jean-Nicolas Beuze, UNHCR Representative in Canada.

“Unifor’s decision to send support for life-saving assistance to the Rohingya people, whose very lives hang by the thinnest thread, speaks to our determination to embrace our shared humanity and to put solidarity into action. We challenge others to do the same,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

To donate to the relief effort, please visit:

For more information, please contact:

  • Lauren La Rose, Senior Fundraising Communications Associate, UNHCR Canada, Tel.: (416) 926-7967, Email:

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