Rohingya Crisis Explained

August 25, 2017 marked the onset of the Rohingya crisis. It began when violence and other atrocities reached a turning point in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, and hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya fled – fearing for their lives. To date, there are nearly one million refugee children and adults now living in refugee camps primarily in Bangladesh. The largest refugee camp lies in Cox’s Bazar District, where some 915,000 children and adults have taken refuge. These struggling families need our help to survive.

What is Life Like for Rohingya Refugees?

Then, the rains came. The monsoon season in Bangladesh began in April, continuing into October. This year’s monsoon rains could pour down up to 9 feet of water on Cox’s Bazar. Although Save the Children recognized the dangers months ago and began preparing for it – the pelting rain and wind still create additional misery. Aid deliveries are thwarted.  Shelters have collapsed. Some of the temporary facilities that Save the Children and other aid organizations have built have been damaged. And while some 30,000 Rohingya were recently moved to safer areas, there are still over 215,000 others living in areas at risk of floods and landslides. Our top priorities are to save lives, protect families’ shelters and vital infrastructure and ensure that all our services can continue in structures that are safe for children. But we can’t do it without support from donors. Will you help?

Here's How You Can Help:

  • $7 could provide a food kit with rice, oil, lentils, flour and sugar for a family of seven for one week 
  • $15 could provide a hygiene kit with a bucket, towels, cloths, soap, shampoo, laundry detergent for a family of seven  
  • $90 could help distribute water purification tablets to two families for a month 
  • $150 could train a community volunteer on hygiene promotion techniques to disseminate health messages

Helping Rohingya Refugees

Save the Children has been present in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh since 2012, and dramatically scaled up our work in 2017 as more Rohingya fled violence in Myanmar. LEARN MORE

Our Efforts at-a-Glance



We are repairing and rebuilding damaged child-friendly spaces, which provide children with access to safe places, structured activities and psychological and emotional support.



Our primary health care center continues to operate around the clock, offering access to basic care and maternity services. We have an ambulance on standby.



We continue to feed some two-thirds of the Rohingya refugee population in partnership with the World Food Program. We provided replacement rations to over 600 families who lost theirs to floods.



We are repairing temporary learning centers that suffered damage.



Our water and sanitation teams are repairing latrines as they are damaged; they are also building new latrines and installing solar lights to help make latrines safer at night.



Our nutrition programs continue to provide treatment to severely malnourished children.



Over 6,500 families received emergency shelter kits to help strengthen their bamboo and plastic shelters. LEARN MORE

Kismot – a 25-year-old mother of three – is shown here, holding her seven-month-old daughter Jamila. Kismot, her husband and two other children – Rohingya refugees – have lived in the Leda Camp in Cox’s Bazar since last October. Kismot gave birth to Jamila in the camp after the family arrived. Photo credit: GMB Akash  /  Save the Children, June 2018.

Life Goes On in the Camps

Kismot – a 25-year-old mother of three – holding her seven-month-old daughter Jamila. Kismot, her husband and two other children have lived in the Leda Camp in Cox’s Bazar since last October. She fled while heavily pregnant and gave birth to Jamila shortly after arriving in Bangladesh. Jamila has since been very sick, and when Kismot brought her to a Save the Children clinic, Jamila was diagnosed with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) at a tiny 7.5 lbs. for her 21-inch height. “I often come to the Save the Children clinic to receive medicine for me and my children,” Kismot said. “I get a special peanut paste for my daughter Jamila, to help her gain weight. The people from Save the Children also talk to us about the importance of hygiene and nutrition, and how to stay clean and healthy.

About Myanmar

Save the Children has worked in Myanmar since 1995 and has some 1,300 staff on the ground, working in over 30 offices around the country. Our staff are experienced in humanitarian relief after disasters and for those displaced by conflict and are prepared to deploy flood relief if needed. However, due to government restrictions on aid agencies, Save the Children is currently not permitted to work in the Northern Rakhine State, where there are an estimated 176,000 Rohingya and some 150,000 people of other ethnicities who may also require assistance.


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