How we’re helping in the world’s fastest growing crisis

More than 671,000 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 makeshift camps in the Cox’s Bazaar region of Bangladesh.

More than half are women and children who depend on international aid for their most basic needs.

There is fear of a cholera outbreak and the spread of other diseases now that the rainy season has started.

Supporting people with food, clean water and medical care is now one of the Red Cross’ biggest operations in the world.

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What we’re doing to help

With our partners the Bangladesh Red Crescent, we have supported more than 254,000 people with emergency aid. 

This includes food, clean water, and hygiene kits with essentials such as soap. Medical teams have treated thousands of people and started a vaccination programme for diphtheria. 

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.

How worms may save lives

Disease can spread quickly in such overcrowded conditions so safely dealing with human waste can make the difference between life and death.
We are now trying a new way of treating waste so that it doesn’t cause illness. On a safe area of land away from the camps, the Red Cross is setting up a new treatment plant.

More than 600,000 tiger worms will be used to treat the sludge safely `and turn it into compost. People living in the camps can then even sell the compost for a small profit to buy essentials such as food and medical care.

This is the first time this kind of project has been tried at such a large scale and in a camp setting.
As the monsoon season approaches, it is more important than ever to make sure that water systems are not contaminated. We hope this project will make a big difference.