Rohingya Refugee Crisis

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UPDATE November 1, 2017: Your donation to support Rohingya refugees will be matched dollar for dollar by the Government of Canada, through the Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund. Donate before November 28 to be eligible for this match.

Rohingya refugees have been fleeing violence in Myanmar at a staggering rate—and the numbers keep growing.

They walk for days through jungles and mountains, or brave dangerous sea voyages across the Bay of Bengal. They arrive exhausted, hungry and sick – in need of international protection and humanitarian assistance.

The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar. The latest exodus began on 25 August 2017, when violence broke out in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The vast majority of Rohingya refugees reaching Bangladesh are women and children, including newborn babies. Many others are elderly people requiring additional aid and protection.

As more refugees arrive every day there is an acute need for emergency shelters and land to house them, as well as blankets, tarpaulins, solar lanterns and other forms of aid. To lessen the risk of waterborne and airborne diseases, refugees and host communities urgently need more clean water, health care and other supplies. Pregnant women, young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017

population of Kutupalong and Nayapara refugee camps

million USD requested to fund UNHCR’s emergency response in Bangladesh

What is UNHCR doing to help Rohingya refugees?

UNHCR is leading the emergency response in two camps for Rohingya refugees, Kutupalong and Nayapara, where we are providing life-saving assistance and protection to the refugees, in close collaboration with partners and authorities.

We are providing emergency shelter in many forms and wherever available, ranging from plastic sheeting to temporary bamboo sheds to common buildings, such as schools, being used as temporary shelters.

By mid-October, UNHCR had airlifted to Bangladesh some 700 metric tonnes of life-saving aid, including tents, plastic sheets, blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen sets and jerry cans. Furthers airlifts are planned.

Together with our partners, we are also helping the government to develop Kutupalong Extension, a new site near the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp. This includes funding a road to facilitate construction and refugee access, supporting site planning, building latrines and wells, improving the water and sanitation facilities and distributing shelter materials.

We continue to identify the most vulnerable new arrivals, such as unaccompanied children, pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled. Our protection staff are working to establish child-friendly spaces and to prevent sexual and gender-based violence.

"Almost 600,000 people have fled, that's the equivalent of half of Calgary."

UNHCR Canada Representative Jean-Nicolas Beuze joined the National Observer to speak about the scale of the Rohingya crisis.

Send urgent relief to Rohingya refugee families in need

UNHCR urgently requires an $83.7 million to respond to massive humanitarian needs in Bangladesh until the end of February 2018. Much more needs to be done to meet the acute needs of children, women and men fleeing conflict.

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Aid Kit

Emergency Relief

UNHCR can deploy humanitarian aid and expert response teams within 72 hours of a large-scale emergency to jump-start relief and protection assistance for more than 600,000 newly displaced people.