A major escalation of violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, has forced more than 600,000 Rohingya people to flee to Bangladesh – adding to 200,000 who had fled earlier conflict.
Camps that were separate are now one sprawling mass. The weather is fluctuating between punishing sun and torrential rain. Children and adults alike have to walk carefully across bamboo to avoid the streams of waste that run between temporary shelters. Their stories are harrowing. People talk of villages burnt to the ground and family members killed, of sexual violence and terrifying escapes.
Save the Children’s response
We have distributed shelter kits and food packs to families who are tired and hungry after days of walking to safety. Our emergency health teams have set up clinics, and provided hygiene kits to stop the spread of diseases among people who are already exhausted and vulnerable.
One of our biggest concerns is the safety and wellbeing of children, thousands of whom have arrived in Cox’s Bazar alone. Where possible, we’re working to reunite families – and when children are alone, and their family members have been killed, we are providing care and protection.DONATE NOW
The military came into our village at night … as we were fleeing, I turned around and saw my house totally burned down.
Majuma* fled with her husband and son. They arrived in Cox’s Bazar in early September.
Hanida* was 9 months pregnant when violence forced her to flee her home. First her cows were stolen and then her neighbours’ homes went up in flames. Next came the shootings and rounding up of husbands and sons. Sometimes the men came back, sometimes they didn’t.
At nine months pregnant, Hanida could neither walk, nor run when her village came under attack. It took two days to cross the mountains, while carried on the back of her husband. Her other children walked barefoot through the jungled forest and across streams. They arrived in Bangladesh with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Remarkably, Hanida gave birth on the side of the road. This is one part of her harrowing story.
We fled with only the clothes on our back and it took us eight days to reach Bangladesh.
Nazrin* fled with her two brothers. They arrived in Cox’s Bazar in early September.
I have a lot of nightmares about what I witnessed the day we fled our village.
Alia* fled with her family and arrived in Cox’s Bazar at the start of October.
We’ve distributing shelter and hygiene kits to families who have arrived with nothing.
We’ve set up spaces where children can play, recover and, crucially, continue learning.
We’re setting up emergency clinics to address the urgent need for life-saving healthcare.
We’re making sure children who are alone get 24-hour protection, and working to reunite families.
The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar. Before the escalation of violence in Myanmar at the end of August, there were already around 200,000 Rohingya living in camps and makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Save the Children has been working in Cox's Bazar since 2012, providing vital services to displaced Rohingya children and their families – but now the number of people in need has tripled in an incredibly short space of time and more help is desperately needed.