In little more than a month, over 500,000 Rohingyas have been forced to flee for their lives. Crossing the border into Bangladesh, they are running to escape the persecution and mass atrocities being committed in their villages and homes in Myanmar. António Guterres (UN Secretary General) described it as “the world’s fastest developing refugee emergency and a humanitarian and human rights nightmare.”
Many have witnessed horrific scenes and endured perilous journeys. They have escaped the burning of their villages. Their relatives and friends have been killed. Separated in the chaos, many are unaware if their loved-ones are alive or dead or where to begin their search.
Terrified and desperate, they have nothing. No home. No medicine. No food.
These traumatized people need your help.
No home, no hope
Having survived this ordeal, these families now question what will happen next? How will they go on surviving? The camps are bursting at the seams. The government and NGOs are struggling to cope and warn of risk of disease as well as shortages of crucial supplies including food, medication, shelter and drinking water. It is a humanitarian crisis on a catastrophic scale.
How can human beings do this to each other?
“I’ve been working in disaster management for over 20 years but I’ve never seen such cruelty. I have always kept myself professional and emotion-free but this time I couldn’t hold back my tears. These are human beings that are being tormented and human beings are doing it to them!” states one of Friendship’s senior development workers.
Friendship already has Health and Disaster Management activities within Cox’s Bazar (a coastal area of Bangladesh where many Rohingya are located). Given our presence in the area and the recent influx of people, we have already started relief work in the camps and plan to increase our efforts to help these families. Among other initiatives, we’re setting up clinics and birthing centers, installing tube wells, installing latrines, setting up solar-powered lighting (particularly for the safety of women and children), building social areas to help victims overcome trauma and also building bridges to improve infrastructure.