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Helping Rohingya Refugees in 2017 Crisis

29th September, 2017

Towards the end of August 2017, Rohingya Muslims started fleeing Myanmar (Burma) as the authorities launched a crackdown on dissidents. In just over a month, that trickle of refugees into neighbouring Bangladesh had swollen to more than 400,000.

Each and every man, woman and child seeking refuge in Bangladesh is in desperate need of emergency aid and the essentials of life. Food, water, shelter, medicines. With their villages destroyed and burned to the ground, entire communities fled carrying nothing but the clothes they wore.

Islamic Help launched an emergency aid campaign to help just some of those refugees who found their way to Cox's Bazaar, already home to tens of thousands of Rohingya who have fled Myanmar in previous years. Working with our partners, the generosity of our donors has allowed us to supply thousands of Rohingya with essential supplies.

In just seven days, we carried out a series of distributions which have provided food packs, family survival packs and shelter kits for the benefit of more than 28,000 refugees.

The food packs have been designed to last a family of 5 for at least 2 weeks, while the survival packs contain hygiene kits and baby milk among other items and the shelter kits have allowed 210 refugee families to erect tents and sleep on mattresses rather than the rocky or muddy ground.

The Myanmar army campaign that sparked the exodus has been described by the UN human rights chief as a "textbook example" of ethnic cleansing, while the UN secretary general, António Guterres, told the United Nations Security Council that it was “the world’s fastest developing refugee emergency and a humanitarian and human rights nightmare”.

The Rohingya are a minority ethnic group in Myanmar (known until 1989 as Burma). The Rohingya population in Myanmar had been estimated at between 1.1 million to 1.3 million, but nearly half have fled in recent years to other countries.

Denied citizenship and access to basic services in Myanmar, even though they have lived there for generations, the Rohingya have been described as the world's most persecuted minority. Many are confined to internment camps in the state of Rakhine and at various stages the Myanmar authorities have imposed restrictions on, or complete blockades of, humanitarian aid deliveries to them.

Islamic Help has been providing aid and assistance to Rohingya communities in Myanmar and refugees in Bangladesh for several years and is committed to continuing that with the help of its donors and supporters. You can find out more about the Rohingya crisis here and keep up with our regular updates, including photos and videos from the refugee camps and distribution points, on our social media channels.

Please continue your support for Rohingya refugees. With many having nothing left in this world, they are relying on your generosity to help them survive.

Find out more and donate today here or call us on 0121 446 5682.