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Australians urged to help people affected by violence in Myanmar

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Australian Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal to help thousands of families who have been affected by violence in northern Rakhine, Myanmar. 

Peter Walton, Director, International at Red Cross, said: "This is one of the biggest humanitarian crises in our region. Our teams on the ground are telling us people are living in dire circumstances. We have a chance to save lives and help ease the suffering of thousands of women, children and men."  

Since 25 August, more than 412,000 people have crossed from northern Rakhine into Bangladesh.

Informal settlements and refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh are overflowing and people are living where they can; in makeshift tents and alongside roads. It is estimated that an additional 121,000 people are displaced in Rakhine State, Myanmar.

"We're seeking the generous support of Australians to provide critical humanitarian support including emergency shelter for families sleeping out in the open, health care for sick and wounded people, and safe spaces for women and children who have left everything behind," Mr Walton said.

"We're also helping to reconnect families who were separated as they fled, or help people discover the fate of their loved ones." 

In Rakhine and Bangladesh, Red Cross teams have reached over 40,000 people with first aid, medical supplies, clean drinking water, food and other emergency items such as tarpaulins for shelter. 

This crisis is going from bad to worse and people urgently need our help. If you've been watching this tragedy unfold on the news and wondering how to help, please give to our appeal.

"Your donation could help a family find a place to sleep out of the rain. It could provide medical care and support to someone who's been injured in violence. It could help children get nutritious meals or keep them safe from abuse and exploitation. Please give today."

Donations to the Myanmar Crisis Appeal will provide humanitarian support to people and communities affected by violence in Rakhine State.

Please donate at redcross.org.au or by calling 1800 811 700.

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Spokespeople from the region are available for interview.

Contact Antony Balmain on +61 (0)408 018 609 or abalmain@redcross.org.au  

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