Following the recent outbreak of violence, thousands of people are fleeing violence in northern areas of Myanmar’s Rakhine State and are crossing into Bangladesh. The total number of people that have arrived since 25 August 2017 has now reached 420,000 people. Over 60% of arrivals are women and children, adding to the significant number of displaced from the long-standing crisis.
The Red Cross is currently on the ground providing essential life-saving aid and is responding to the immediate needs of those displaced with focus on food, shelter, water and sanitation, health, restoring family links and protection. So far, Red Crescent teams in Bangladesh have provided purified water to 35,000 people, along with thousands of jerry cans. They have also distributed food to about 24,000 people.
John Roche, Head of International at the Irish Red Cross warns that “humanitarian capacity on the ground is stretched to breaking point. While the Red Cross is doing all that it can, we remain concerned that an urgent scale up is needed. In particular, we call on authorities to allow other NGOs access to affected areas, in particular northern Rakhine, where the Red Cross remains the only organisation with access to the area. This crisis needs a collective response to meet the scale of increasing needs.”.
Thousands of people are still stuck in the border areas between the two countries. An overwhelming majority of arrivals are staying in open air or in temporary sheds erected from poor and fragile materials. Pre-existing camps and new spontaneous settlements are overcrowded.
The Red Cross Red Crescent movement remains extremely concerned about the number of people displaced from Rakhine and is calling for a cessation of violence and immediate access to the most vulnerable. We also advocate to allow other humanitarian organisations to gain access to Rakhine state.
In response to this humanitarian crisis – the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is appealing for funds which will facilitate a response to the most urgent needs of hundreds of thousands of people.
Donations to the Irish Red Cross Myanmar Crisis Appeal can be made online at www.redcross.ie/donate or by calling the charity on 1850 50 70 70.
Your gift will save lives. Your donation will provide aid and help us respond to the immediate needs.