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Bangladesh-Myanmar Crisis Appeal

You can help families in crisis.

Four years ago, more than 740,000 people fled violence in Myanmar for the safety of Cox’s Bazar Bangladesh.

Mothers walked for miles with babies in their arms. Young men carried their elderly parents on their backs. Escaping together, from attacks that had already killed many of the people they loved.

When they reached the Bangladesh border, Red Cross teams were there to help. With mobile health clinics, food, water and tents for shelter.

Today, families are still living in crisis. People rely entirely on aid in order to survive. Annual monsoon seasons cause deadly floods and landslides and recent surges in COVID cases are adding pressure to already strained health services.
But there are reasons to be hopeful. 

When you donate to our appeal you make all this possible.

  • shelters so families have somewhere safe to sleep. 
  • healthcare for the sick and injured, including COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • clean water and sanitation facilities. 
  • cash grants so families can make ends meet. 
  • safeguarding communities for monsoon seasons.

Together, we can ensure these families and this crisis is not forgotten.

Myanmar Crisis Appeal

Your donation will help provide humanitarian support to people fleeing violence in Myanmar.

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Your questions answered

Since August 2017 more than 740,000 people - mostly women and children – have fled violence in Myanmar to seek safety in the camps of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. 

There are now more than 860,000 displaced people living in the camps relying on aid in order to survive. Families face daily battles, including inadequate shelter and hygiene, overcrowding, risks of flooding and landslides, gender based violence, chronic health conditions, and now COVID-19. 

Red Cross and Red Crescent have been there since the very beginning, helping families to survive and cope.

Funds raised will assist Red Cross to provide humanitarian support to people and communities affected by violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, including those who have sought safety in neighbouring countries. That support may include:

  • emergency relief and recovery assistance such as food, water, sanitation, shelter and health initiatives
  • sending specialist aid workers to assist in assessment, relief, recovery and disaster and crisis management operations, as well as restoring family links
  • working in affected areas to strengthen local resilience and deliver relief and recovery services

Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the emergency needs of people in affected areas or if there are changes in circumstances beyond Red Cross' control, Red Cross will direct excess funds to responding to international crises and resilience.

Donations of $2 and over are tax deductible.

Australian Red Cross ensures that at least 90% of funds raised for an international appeal are spent directly on our emergency response programs. Our appeal and administration costs vary depending upon the type and scale of activity, but do not exceed 10% of funds raised.

Up to 10% is deducted and used for indirect administration and appeal fundraising costs to support our important work: e.g. office facilities, staff, and IT services. Fundraising costs include donor call centres, receipting and website.

In the unlikely event that funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the emergency needs of people in affected areas, or if there are changes in circumstances beyond Red Cross' control that limit our ability to use funds in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct excess funds to help people in other emergency situations abroad. Any interest earned on donations will be invested back into the appeal.

The threat of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 is especially grave in the camps of Cox’s Bazar. They are overcrowded, and have limited availability to adequate hygiene, sanitation and clean water. The capacity to meet the existing health needs is already limited. The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and other humanitarian agencies have been responding to the threat of COVID-19, stepping up hygiene promotion and community awareness about the disease, and setting up isolation and treatment centres in the camps to support those who do get sick.

Ongoing violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, has seen a rise in the number of people seeking refuge in Bangladesh. Currently there is more than 860,000 people displaced from Rakhine living in the camps and others living in the surrounding areas. These people have fled violence in successive waves since the 1970s with the most recent arrivals occurring in the first half of 2020. While, border crossings between the two countries have been closed, some people have resorted to traveling by boat to other countries in the region. Local Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have been helping those who have arrived on their shores.

On  the  Myanmar  side  of  the  border,  humanitarian  access  in  Rakhine  State, particularly  in  the  north,  remains  difficult.  The International Committee of Red Cross Societies (ICRC) and Myanmar Red Cross Society are providing humanitarian services where feasible. 

Thanks for your generosity but we are unable to send donated goods to the area. The cost of shipping and storing these products would far exceed the cost of buying items in bulk closer to the source. Here's more information.

Our Red Cross shops around the country will gratefully accept good-quality clothing and household items. These will be on-sold to raise funds to help people in Australia and further afield. Find a Red Cross Shop near you.

Thank you for your kind offer to volunteer. Australian Red Cross does not send volunteers overseas during a disaster or emergency response. In these instances, we would only send trained specialists who have experience working in international emergencies and with Red Cross.

Red Cross aid worker Kyla Raby on 6 months in Bangladesh and the growing risks for women and children.

Three years too long: The refugee crisis in Bangladesh.

Two years in a refugee camp: No Australian I know would live like this. 

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