ChildFund Alliance is responding to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh, where more than 500,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed the border to escape civil conflict in Myanmar.
“The situation is critical, particularly for the most vulnerable members of the refugee population—young children, mothers and the elderly,” said Meg Gardinier, Secretary General of ChildFund Alliance. “Uprooted from their homes, families have walked for days through jungle and over mountains, while others have made the treacherous journey by sea in wooden fishing boats. They are arriving at overcrowded camps with nothing but the clothes on their backs.”
Over half the refugees are children; some have arrived at the camps alone, having become separated from family during the journey. They are sick, scared and hungry, many are traumatised and exhausted from the long walk and what they have witnessed.
Existing camps in Bangladesh, one of Asia’s poorest nations, are ill-equipped to deal with this sudden influx, especially as the nation recovers from extreme and torrential monsoon rains. These have resulted in flooding, landslides and the devastation of local communities.
The refugees are in urgent need of food, water and sanitation, and shelter. Given the huge exodus of the Rohingya population, the systems on the ground are overwhelmed. ChildFund is working with partners on the ground to provide assistance to children and families.
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ChildFund Alliance is a global network of 11 child-focused development organizations working in more than 60 countries. We help more than 9 million children and youth to overcome poverty and the underlying conditions that prevent them from achieving their potential, with an annual expenditure of over US$500 million. ChildFund was founded in 1938.