How your donation is helping Rohingya refugees rebuild

Success stories, Blogs article written on the 06 Feb 2019

Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh

Since the Rohingya refugee crisis began, around one million people have sought shelter in sprawling, makeshift camps in Bangladesh — people like Asia Bibi*.

“We came here because we needed to save our lives,” she says.

For people like Asia Bibi and her children, the future is uncertain.

“When we first arrived in Bangladesh, we didn’t have any food or money,” she recalls. “I had to ask for help from other refugees in order to feed my kids. We suffered a lot at that time.”

“When we first arrived in Bangladesh, we didn’t have any food or money”

Background to the Rohingya refugee crisis

Since August 2017, more than 727,000 Rohingya people have fled violence in Myanmar to seek refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh. They’ve joined more than 400,000 other Rohingya refugees there, who fled previous bouts of violence since the 90s.

People are living in makeshift tents in hugely overcrowded settlements with overflowing latrines and contaminated water. They’re largely unlit and dangerous at night – women, girls and children are particularly vulnerable.

They need food, clean water and shelter to survive, but above all they need to feel safe.

Makeshift shelters stretch into the distance of a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. Photo: Dylan Quinnell

Makeshift shelters stretch into the distance of a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. Photo: Dylan Quinnell

Oxfam is on the ground in Bangladesh

Thanks to you, our teams are working hard to improve living conditions for the many families forced to call the camps “home”.

Asia Bibi says, “I got solar panels from Oxfam, so we have electricity for lights at night. Oxfam also gave me some clothes and underwear — because I left Myanmar with only the clothes I was wearing — as well as things like toothpaste and soap.”

Rohingya refugee Asia Bibi* with solar powered lamp provided by Oxfam, in her shelter in the camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith/ Oxfam

Asia Bibi* with solar powered lamp provided by Oxfam, in her shelter in the camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith/ Oxfam

“The toothpaste has made a big difference. The children are very enthusiastic — they clean their teeth four times a day. They have been scrubbing so much I have to tell them to stop, otherwise they can’t eat the rice because their gums hurt.”

She adds, “We also use the latrine and water pump that Oxfam built nearby.”

Toilets provided for Rohingya refugee families in Bangladesh. Photo: Maruf Hasan/OxfamAus

Life is just a little easier in for Rohingya refugee families in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh thanks to the ingenious BioFil latrines we built with your support. They use worms to decompose waste. Photo: Maruf Hasan/OxfamAus


* Name changed to protect identity

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