Rohingya Refugee Crisis | UNICEF USA

900 Thousand Rohingya Refugees Struggle for a Future

One year ago, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled violence in Myanmar for Bangladesh. Now a generation of children face uncertain futures.

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“The route to school gets slippery,” says Rashidullah. Monsoon rains aren’t enough to keep Rashidullah from the UNICEF Learning Center.

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“I had never heard of vaccination,” says Mustapha. But thanks to UNICEF, all her children are now vaccinated.

Meet Mustapha

“When I dance and sing I am most happy,” says Sehera. She attends one of the 795 UNICEF learning centers.

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Umme's Story
12-year-old Rohingya refugee Umme and her family fled the mass killings of their people in Myanmar for safety in Bangladesh. But, now with Monsoon season here, she may be up against another fight for her life.
Read Umme's Full Story
Rohingya Refugees Struggling for a Future
“They’re not refugees, they’re not migrants. They are children. We’re grown-ups, and we need to find a solution.” - UNICEF USA CEO Caryl M. Stern
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Lifesaving Support for Rohingya Refugees
Mass killings forced Rohingya refugee Momtas and her family to flee Myanmar for Bangladesh. Now she struggles to feed her children. UNICEF is providing food supplements and nutritional counseling to help refugee children survive.
Read Momtas' Full Story
Water Report
UNICEF is working hard to provide Rohingya refugee children with clean water and protect them from disease. Watch Jean-Jacques Simon, UNICEF Bangladesh, explain how “Water is at the center of this humanitarian crisis.”
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"Houses were burning. There were rocket launchers. They were killing people after arresting them, that’s why we fled here.” —Umme, 12

This is a story no child should tell. Yet, it’s an all-too-familiar one in the Bangladesh refugee settlements, where UNICEF is helping Rohingya survivors of what UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has deemed “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Now, Umme and hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Rohingya children like her are living in the path of a looming threat. As cyclone season approaches, the overcrowded temporary settlements they call home could be swept away, subjecting the 900,000 refugees already requiring humanitarian assistance to even greater risk.

Situated on cleared land that has become increasingly congested since the crisis began, refugees' tents perch on barren hillsides that heavy rains could turn to mud, causing landslides and flooding. If severe, monsoon season rains could destroy the camps’ sanitation infrastructure and contaminate the water supply, leaving children with weakened immune systems vulnerable to the spread of disease and waterborne illnesses.

“I’ve been in some difficult places,” says Martin Worth, UNICEF’s Head of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. “But this could get so much worse. What is already a dire humanitarian situation could become a catastrophe.”