The plight of the Rohingya refugees has shocked the world. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled violence in Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, into neighbouring Bangladesh. Tearfund’s local partners have been responding to the crisis since it began.
An estimated 430,000 people have crossed the border, and more are arriving every day. Urgent needs include food, water, sanitation, shelter, medical and trauma care.
‘In Bangladesh the government is open to accept the Rohingya refugees, but they face a challenge to host them for a long time,’ says Jacob Sarker, Tearfund’s Country Representative for Bangladesh. ‘There is the possibility of epidemic outbreaks in the absence of water and sanitation facilities.’
Tearfund partner COAST (Coastal Association for Social Transformation) are on the ground now, distributing cooked food, safe drinking water and medicine.
From 8 to 17 September COAST distributed 22,000 packets of cooked food and 48,000 litres of drinking water. In total, they’ve provided health services to 25,552 refugees.
Leaving nothing to waste
With so many thousands of people forced into makeshift camps, one of the main issues has become waste. COAST formulated a solution that is not only dealing with the problem, but also helping some of the refugees to get back on their feet.
A group of refugees, who had been forced to leave their homes and livelihoods behind, were employed by COAST to help clear the rubbish. The income generated is being used to buy essential items such as food and clothing. Now, the areas are free from garbage and waste.
We will continue to do all we can to help, but as the refugees continue to flood across the border, their future remains fragile and uncertain.
- Lift up Tearfund’s Bangladesh team as they work with COAST and other partners to respond to the crisis; pray for strength, wisdom and for the right resources to be available
- Pray for an end to the violence that is happening in Rakhine State. And pray for the peacebuilding work that Tearfund is doing in Myanmar, which is addressing some of the underlying long-term causes of violence and conflict
- Please pray that aid will get through to those refugees and displaced people who are most in need, and for the Bangladeshi government as they seek to ensure humanitarian support for the Rohingya refugees