It has been six years since over 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled violence in Myanmar to seek safety in Bangladesh.
Most arrived in a state of shock, grief and exhaustion, carrying nothing but the clothes on their back. Now the humanitarian situation is reaching its breaking point. For six years, Rohingya refugee children have gone without formal education, parents and caregivers have gone without employment, and all refugees have become more vulnerable to deaths and injuries from large-scale fires, flooding, and rising insecurity than ever before.
Cox’s Bazar is home to the largest refugee settlement in the world, with almost 1 million Rohingya refugees, most of whom have now been living in the camps for six years. Many families are reliant on food rations to survive. They need access to safe water and healthcare.
Three in four children are out of school. And living conditions in the camps mean there is a major risk of disease outbreaks, including cholera and diphtheria. Girls are exposed to violence and abuse. Rohingya refugee children are worried about their futures; they need hope.
Save the Children is one of the leading International NGOs working in Cox’s Bazar and has been there since 2012.
Save the Children is on the ground ensuring children are safe, protected and learning. We've built health facilities, including a 20-bed Primary Health Care Centre, which provide 24-hour care for sick and injured children, as well as support the safe delivery of newborns. We've installed toilets and bathing units, and are distributing essential hygiene items so children can stay healthy.
We're providing emotional and psychosocial support to children to help them come to terms with the traumatic experiences they've been through.
With the support of the Bangladesh Government, we've also set up informal learning opportunities at 100 learning centres across Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, and are distributing teaching and learning materials so children can continue to learn. And, we've set up Child and Girl Friendly Spaces where children can learn, play and be children again.
When 13-year-old Tariqul* and his family left Myanmar, they had to walk for several days. Tariqul, his mother and 4 siblings had to cross large mountains and the Naf River. They couldn't find proper food and had to survive by eating tree leaves and drinking contaminated water. Many of them fell ill after entering Bangladesh.
Upon arriving at the refugee camp in Bangladesh, Save the Children provided mental health support for the family to support their adjustment to the camp.
Save the Children provided Tariqul* with child protection services as well and his family were selected to receive various hygiene and water services provided by Save the Children.