How we’re helping in the world’s largest refugee camp.
More than 740,000 people fled their homes in Myanmar after violence that began in August 2017.
Young and old arrived hungry, exhausted and with almost nothing. Most now live in cramped makeshift camps in the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh. More than half are women and children who depend on international aid for their most basic needs.
During the monsoon rainy season, floods and landslides have destroyed hundreds of shelters. This is likely to get worse as the monsoon continues.
Dealing with this crisis has become one of the Red Cross’ biggest operations in the world. Now, people also face the threat of COVID-19.
What we’re doing to help
With our partners the Bangladesh Red Crescent, we are supporting more than 254,000 people with emergency aid. This includes food, clean water and medical care.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent run 11 health facilities including a surgical field hospital and mobile health clinics. Together, we have treated 232,800 patients.
We also give special help to children living in the camps without adults and families without husbands or fathers. People with disabilities and older people also get extra support.
Why toilets matter
Imagine a population almost equal to everyone who lives in Bristol and Bath suddenly having to leave home. They would need not only food and shelter, but also working toilets.
A team of British Red Cross specialists has been working in the camps since the crisis started to build toilets and promote good hygiene.
We have also built safe systems to treat human waste so it doesn’t cause disease.
Our partners the Red Crescent have distributed hygiene kits with soap and other essentials across the camps.
Hygiene promotion sessions, where families learn how to stay healthy in these difficult conditions, have reached 67,739 people.
As the monsoon rains bring even more risk of sickness spread by dirty water, all of this work is becoming doubly important.