Lausanne, Switzerland – 16 September 2017.

Following renewed tensions in northern Rakhine State in Myanmar on 25 August, entire villages from the Rohingya community started fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh. It is estimated that approximately 400,000 Rohingyas have crossed the border in the past three weeks, arriving by foot and boat. UNHCR camps are already full and resources are being stretched. The incoming refugees are staying in makeshift tents and urgently need shelter, food, safe drinking water, and medical care.

Medair has been closely monitoring the situation since the start of the crisis to assess how best to meet the needs of the affected people. The Medair emergency response team will travel to Dhaka tomorrow and look at assessing needs in the area around Cox’s Bazaar, where most refugees are pouring into. Prior to this new influx, the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh was already hosting approximately 213,000 Rohingya refugees.

It is estimated that the number of refugees could increase to one million in the next few months. With the monsoon season currently ongoing and the winter starting in October, the situation is urgent”, says James McDowell, Head of Medair’s Global Emergency Response Team. “The key needs at the moment are shelter and safe drinking water. Consequently, we are deploying a team to assess how best we can provide assistance as soon as possible.”

Medair is also working in Myanmar, providing shelter, cash, and disaster risk reduction services to vulnerable communities.


Photo: © Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Medair is an international relief agency headquartered in Switzerland. We help people who are suffering in remote and devastated communities around the world survive crises and recover with dignity, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, or nationality.

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