Urgent need for response to refugee crisis in Bangladesh

ChildFund Alliance is deeply concerned about the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh, as an estimated 400,000 refugees from Myanmar have crossed the border to escape civil conflict.

The situation is critical, particularly for the most vulnerable members of the refugee population—young children, mothers and the elderly. 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.

Refugee camps in Bangladesh are ill-equipped to deal with the sudden influx of refugees from Myanmar. (c) IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation

A large proportion of the refugees arriving are children and the camps do not fulfil minimum standards for humanitarian response, lacking basic shelter, food, water and access to healthcare. ChildFund warns that immediate action must be taken before conditions worsen.

“Without emergency aid, hundreds of thousands of lives are at risk,” said Meg Gardinier, Secretary General of ChildFund Alliance. Particular attention must also be given to the protection of children on the move. Having survived a long, gruelling journey from home, it is likely that many will be suffering from trauma and some may have been separated from family members, making them more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.”

ChildFund Australia is partnering with ActionAid Bangladesh to deliver critical support to people in refugee camps. Initial distributions will focus on emergency food including rice and lentils, as well as clean drinking water. Following that, the focus will be on providing materials for emergency shelter and distributing hygiene kits containing sanitary towels, soap, clean underwear and disinfectant, as well as establishing women-friendly spaces.

Please make an emergency donation today and help provide life-saving support to children and families affected by the Bangladesh refugee crisis.

-------------------------------------------------

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.