Imagine fleeing violence while you’re pregnant? Two women found themselves in this very situation in Myanmar recently, with graveIrish Red Cross consequences.


Rehana Begum gave birth to a boy and a girl on the day she arrived at a makeshift camp in Bangladesh, but the boy died during the birth and her husband Sulaiman had to bury him in an unmarked grave in the mud next to their tent. The heavily-pregnant Rehana, and Sulaiman, had fled Mynamar with their three-year-old son, and had crossed mountains for three days. Once they crossed the border they spent another two days sleeping on the side of the road before they got to the camp. Rehana and Sulaiman don’t know how they will take care of a new-born daughter or deal with the loss of their son. There is very little food and it is difficult to get access to clean water so the Bangladesh Red Crescent has set up a water treatment operation near the camp to help people like Rahana and her family.


25-year-old Shovika Mia also fled violence in Myanmar while heavily pregnant. While escaping her home in Rakhine State with her husband Shona, Shovika gave birth to baby Nur Halima in the hills. Back home the young couple had a house and four cows which provided a stable income, but their house was burned in the violence as they fled and their cows were shot. They now live in an informal camp for new arrivals to Bangladesh.


The Red Cross and Red Crescent are increasing their efforts to help people who have fled Myanmar. In addition to food, water and mobile health clinics, the Red Cross provides cash grants so families can start small businesses to support themselves. The Red Cross also helps families who became separated during the escape from Myanmar to find each other again.


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