When hundreds of thousands of terrified Rohingya refugees began pouring out of Myanmar in August 2017, they brought with them accounts of unspeakable violence and brutality. By April 2019, around 910,000 Rohingya had settled in congested makeshift settlements that fill the hillsides of Cox's Bazar — one of the poorest districts in Bangladesh — effectively forming the world's largest refugee camp.
Rohingya survivors of brutality in Myanmar have formed the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh
With the support of the Bangladeshi government and humanitarian partners, the traumatized refugees have gained access to some basic services. But they remain highly dependent on short-term aid, struggling to survive in precarious conditions, especially during Bangladesh's long monsoon and cyclone seasons.
In Myanmar, Rohingya have no legal status or citizenship. In Bangladesh, children are not registered at birth, so they lack both a legal identity and a refugee status. Until conditions in Myanmar improve, Rohingya children and their families remain in limbo.
Fresh news stories crowd the headlines every day, pushing prolonged emergencies out of the spotlight
As accounts of new disasters and violent conflict around the world fill the headlines, ongoing emergencies are pushed out of the public eye. But those on the ground know that effective response to prolonged humanitarian crises requires both short-term assistance and long-range planning to help vulnerable communities build resilience for the future.
That's why monthly giving is so crucial.
Regular monthly giving allows UNICEF to make long-range plans so the next generation of Rohingya will have a future
Humanitarian relief work requires a lasting commitment to building futures. In 2018, sustained support allowed UNICEF and partners to:
- Expand access to nonformal education to 145,000 Rohingya refugee children between the ages of 4 and 14
- Provide 1.2 million people over age 1 with oral cholera vaccine
- Treat more than 24,000 children for severe acute malnutrition
- Provide cash grants to 50 primary schools and 14 secondary schools
- Reach almost 350,000 Rohingya refugees with clean, safe drinking water
- Reach more than 160,000 Rohingya children with counseling services to help them heal from trauma
By becoming a monthly donor, you make it possible for UNICEF to meet the urgent needs of children growing up in crisis
It can be difficult to read the news these days. More countries are embroiled in internal and international conflct now than at any time in the past 30 years. No child chooses to be born into a humanitarian emergency.
Setting up a regular monthly gift to UNICEF means that every day, you'll be doing your part to help UNICEF put children first and make sure they receive the support and opportunities they need to survive and thrive.
Monthly givers know they're helping UNICEF save and protect the world's most vulnerable children
UNICEF USA's monthly giving program lets members set up their recurring donations in one easy step. Giving up something as small as a cup of coffee can have a big impact on the life of a child. And establishing a recurring monthly gift lets UNICEF plan ahead on how best to use that money, ensuring that every dollar donated has maximum impact. Providing a better future for Rohingya refugees will take time, expertise, persistence, hope — and committed donors.
Top photo: Children smile as they shelter from the rain in Balukhali-Kutupalong, a refugee camp sheltering over 800,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. As monsoon season approaches, UNICEF and other humanitarian organizations are working with the Bangladeshi government to minimize the risks from landslides, flash floods and waterborne diseases. © UNICEF/UN0219100/Modola