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URGENT: Children across the Horn of Africa are dying from hunger.


Help us rebuild in Cox’s Bazar

12 April 2021, Action for Change

Fires have devastated the world’s largest refugee camp 

In late March a deadly fire ripped through the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp – home to nearly a million Rohingya refugees for the last three years.  
The blaze destroyed all 18 learning spaces run by Save the Children, along with all the books and educational materials. It will take more than three months to rebuild these facilities, pushing Rohingya children further behind when their peers in other parts of Bangladesh go back to school in May following COVID-19 related closures.

Save the Children has been on the ground, providing emergency shelter, meals and a mobile child friendly space to support families. Our mental health team has also been supporting children who have been affected by the fire. Some children are showing signs of being re-traumatised, having already fled fires in Myanmar. Mental health workers report that children are refusing to eat or play, and some are unable to sleep and have been waking up and running away from imagined fire.

A cry for help

Seven-year-old Junayed* was caught in the fire that destroyed his family’s home and all their belongings. 

I don’t have clothes. My shelter and everything got burnt. Since my house is burnt, now we are staying at the village


During the fire, Junayed injured his foot on a nail. With medical centres closed, there was no help available. 

“I couldn’t walk due to the pain,” says Junayed. “The hospital has been burnt out, that’s why couldn’t get medicine.  Now I am limping due to the pain.”

Shofik* is a volunteer Rohingya Facilitator at the Save the Children Child Friendly Spaces. With the permanent Child Friendly Spaces burnt to the ground, he quickly set up a Mobile Child Friendly Space for the kids to come play and process their feelings and experiences around the fire. It was there he noticed Junayed had been injured. 

Shofik* immediately took him to Save the Children’s Mobile Medical Team to bandage his foot and get the medicines he needed to prevent an infection. 

With much of the camp in ruins, the Mobile Child Friendly Space is a key space for children to come together to process their trauma.

“Children are coming to the tent and we are running activities,” says Shofik. “We are doing game and fun sessions, and trying to make them feel calm. Since the Multi-Purpose Children and Adolescent Centre is burnt, children moved to different places in scattered way. We have set up the Mobile centre so that our children can remain together and don’t go alone somewhere. Our children will be able to stay together and play.” 

The months of recovery ahead

The fires were terrifying for Rohingya families, and there will be months of disruption and upheaval ahead as facilities and homes are re-built. Children too, will need special support, in processing the disaster and recovering from the effects. 
But we’ll be on the ground supporting children like Junayed over the coming days and months as life in the camp returns to a new normal. 


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