Rohingya Refugee Relief Fund

by GlobalGiving
Rohingya Refugee Relief Fund
Photo: OBAT Helpers Inc
Photo: OBAT Helpers Inc

As COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh surpass 1 million, the government is jumpstarting its vaccine rollout. Around 3% of the population has been fully vaccinated. So far, that doesn’t include the Rohingya.

The Rohingya people in Bangladesh are coping with the pandemic and other disasters in their community nearly four years after more than 700,000 Rohingya were forced to flee their homes and lives in Myanmar. They are still awaiting the time when they can safely return home. 

Thank you for supporting them through the Rohingya Refugee Relief Fund. Here’s a snapshot of how your donation is assisting Rohingya families and individuals living in refugee camps:

Curbing COVID-19 with care

Gonoshasthaya Kendra’s health facilities are serving Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, and they haven’t closed for a single day—not even when the pandemic stretched their staff and resources thin. 

The Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh include the largest and most densely populated camps in the world. Social distancing and accessing water is difficult there, making measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 even more critical.

Gonoshasthaya Kendra, which has been working with Rohingya refugees since 1992, distributed PPE early in the pandemic and continues to provide medical support at local health facilities. As one of the largest health providers in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps, the nonprofit has, to date, cared for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya. 

Offering relief where and when it’s needed

Hope Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh is responding to emergencies affecting Rohingya refugees with mobile medical teams. 

Hope Foundation provides masks, soap, and other essentials for women and children, who make up the majority of the Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar. And when a fire swept through the district earlier this year, killing 11 people and displacing more than 45,000 as it destroyed swaths of the refugee camps, the nonprofit’s mobile medical teams responded with emergency assistance and relief supplies for survivors.

As the Rohingya population continues to face uncertainty and strives to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic, your contribution is fueling the local organizations that support them with emergency relief and ongoing care. Thank you for your generosity. We look forward to sharing more stories of how your donation is making a difference for the Rohingya.

With gratitude, 

Merinda + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo: HOPE Foundation
Photo: HOPE Foundation
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Photo: OBAT Helpers
Photo: OBAT Helpers

After spending more than three years in refugee camps far from home, the Rohingya people will likely need to wait even longer to return to Myanmar after the recent military coup. Nurual Amin, a Rohingya refugee living in Bangladesh, told the Associated Press, Even if they try to repatriate us, we will not agree to go back under the current situation.” Thankfully, GlobalGiving’s partners in Bangladesh can continue supporting the Rohingya people thanks to generous donors like you. 

Preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • In Bangladesh, the HOPE Foundation for Women & Children of Bangladesh has given pregnant women, newborns, and fistula survivors—some of the most high-risk groups for COVID-19— plenty of masks, water purification tablets, and soap.
  • With the rise in COVID-19 cases, Friends of UNFPA quickly realized that many women living in the refugee camps were giving birth without doctors or the proper tools. They began a community transport system which brings women in labor to UNFPA health facilities so they can receive the treatment they need, without worrying about the coronavirus.  

Prioritizing refugees’ needs:

  • The  JAAGO Foundation is training teachers on how to keep students engaged with virtual learning to help students succeed as they dive into online education amid school closures.
  • OBAT Helpers is supporting students through caregivers as schools remain closed due to the pandemic. The childrens’ caregivers engage them in daily educational activities at home to keep them learning, even while they are out of school. OBAT also trained more than 600 caregivers on identifying and managing the symptoms of COVID-19! 

With the instability of the past month in Myanmar and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis taking a toll on the Rohingya people, your support is so appreciated. 

Thank you.

With gratitude, 

Shannon + the GlobalGiving team

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Photo: JAAGO Foundation
Photo: JAAGO Foundation

Though 2020 is coming to a close, its struggles are not, especially for the more than one million Rohingya refugees, many of whom are still living in Bangladeshi refugee camps three years after the initial crisis. Your support of the Rohingya community is more crucial—and more appreciated—than ever in these trying times. I’ll leave it to JAAGO Foundation founder Korvi Rakshand to share what it’s like to provide a safe haven for refugee children living in Bangladesh. 

What about JAAGO's work in support of Rohingya refugees are you most proud of? 

Every child deserves to have a normal life and a safe environment to grow up in. JAAGO is currently supporting almost 500 Rohingya children directly by providing them safe shelter and food, informal education and trauma management through play therapy. These kids had to go through severe trauma at an early age. They have seen so much cruelty and violence at a very young age. At least we could take a small step to help them and make them feel guarded. Even during the pandemic, we are trying to provide for them as much as we can. Three of our volunteers are working continuously with a group of eight to ten children so that they don’t feel alone. To be honest, there is a lot more to do, to take pride in..

In your view, how can donors best support Rohingya refugees? 

This is the time to get united. Given that many of our donors are facing financial issues themselves, it has been really difficult to get help from the outside, especially for children who are orphans; it's been a challenge even to provide them with nutritious food. We would really appreciate more help so we can appoint more people to come on board and continue our work maintaining social distancing. 

Since 2018, JAAGO has been able to support children in the Kutupalong refugee camp by boosting trauma management, cognitive understanding, social skills development, and conflict resolution, while also ensuring personal protection and proper hygiene. Thanks to your ongoing generosity, project leaders like Korvi are continuing to provide necessary aid to the Rohingya, making way for a better 2021. 

With gratitude, 

Shannon + the GlobalGiving Team

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Photo courtesy of ActionAid
Photo courtesy of ActionAid

As we mark the third anniversary of the launch of our Rohingya Refugee Relief Fund, we can’t help but be in awe of everything that your generosity has cultivated. In August 2017, the Myanmar military escalated its persecution of the Rohingya minority population. This sparked the displacement of more than one million refugees, primarily to Bangladesh. Since then, you and nearly 1,700 others have given more than $400,000 to provide refugees with medical clinics, food, hygiene kits, and education. Your support is more crucial now than ever, as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout refugee camps, where practices like social distancing are close to impossible.

Three years of solidarity

In a huge step forward for human rights, the United Nations International Court of Justice voted unanimously in January to order Myanmar to take action in preventing genocide. The legally binding ruling requires the Myanmar government to ensure that military and police forces don’t commit genocide, preserve evidence of genocidal acts, and report back on its compliance. 

Despite advances in preventing further harm to the Rohingya population, more than one million refugees are still living in refugee camps. With Myanmar's borders closed due to the pandemic and limited action from the Myanmar government to ensure the possibility of a safe return home, Rohingyan survivors’ future remains uncertain.

Of the Rohingya refugees living in the Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar, the largest refugee camp in the world, more than 50% are children. More than 300,000 children in the camp are missing out on an education, with 6,000 learning institutions in the camp closed and extremely limited internet access inhibiting remote learning. 

COVID-19 comes to Cox’s Bazar

With fifty confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cox’s Bazar, GlobalGiving partners are jumping into action:

  • BRAC USA is distributing hand washing devices, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and leaflets with prevention tips to keep residents safe. Their public health awareness campaign has already reached more than 700,000 people
  • The HOPE Foundation has set up two isolation units with 50 beds each to treat COVID-19 patients, one serving the camp itself and the other for the host community of Cox’s Bazar. 
  • Friends of UNFPA established a hand-washing system at each of their health clinics in the camp, where volunteers guide Rohingya patients in hand-washing and social distancing protocols. 
  • JAAGO continues to provide education remotely through radio and the internet, ensuring that among all of the changes brought by the pandemic, access to education isn't one of them. 

These days, solidarity is more important than ever  which is why we’re so grateful for your support in supporting the Rohingya people in their time of need. 

With gratitude, 

Shannon + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo courtesy of Concern Worldwide US.
Photo courtesy of Concern Worldwide US.
Photo courtesy of Friends of UNFPA, Inc
Photo courtesy of Friends of UNFPA, Inc
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Courtesy of JAAGO's Safe Haven project report
Courtesy of JAAGO's Safe Haven project report

The COVID-19 crisis has presented monumental challenges to communities across the world. For some of us, these challenges include working from home while juggling child care, caring for sick relatives, and coping with social isolation. 

For others, like Rohingya refugees living in camps in Bangladesh, surviving a pandemic presents even greater challenges.  Since social distancing is nearly impossible, respiratory illness is common, and day-wages are most individuals’ only source of income, overcoming the pandemic will require an enormous show of solidarity from the international community. Hundreds of individuals have been stranded in boats at sea for two months, as Malaysia and Bangladesh closed their ports to the migrants seeking to escape the difficult conditions. 

Populations already hard-hit by recent natural disasters or in the midst of ongoing humanitarian crises are disproportionately impacted by the virus. That’s why GlobalGiving launched a round of emergency grants from your generous donations to the Rohingya Refugee Relief Fund. These flexible grants reinforced local nonprofits’ ability to act quickly in delivering personal protective equipment (PPE), essential medical supplies, and food to the most vulnerable. 

Here’s a snapshot of how your contribution is keeping refugees safe while far from home:

Mending the gap in food aid

  • OBAT Helpers: As the local economy remains shut down, the daily wages Rohingya refugees earn through jobs outside of the camp have dried up. Since workers can no longer depend on these low earnings to feed their families, organizations like OBAT Helpers have delivered food packages to over 1,600 families in an effort to mend the gap. 

Spreading hope through tiny miracles

  • HOPE Foundation for Women and Children of Bangladesh: HOPE Foundation’s expertly-trained midwives are working around the clock to ensure the health of mothers and newborn babies in Cox’s Bazar, while also distributing PPE and masks to the wider community. Previous grants to this organization have contributed to the construction of a field hospital, which is now being activated to effectively treat residents who test positive for the coronavirus.

Sharing life-saving information

  • Internews: Access to accurate, timely, and life-saving information is half of the battle in the fight against COVID-19. Faced with unreliable internet and cell service availability, Rohingya refugees are often at a disadvantage when it comes to staying informed. With the emergency grant, Internews is strengthening its efforts to deliver current news in the local language to thousands of refugees, through both radio and educational entertainment programs. 

These rapid-response grants reflect just one component of GlobalGiving’s overall response to COVID-19. Our community of donors has supported local relief efforts in more than 30 countries through our Coronavirus Relief Fund, and we have also activated a Hardship Microgrants Program to help nonprofits across the world keep the lights on during a time of great uncertainty. 

We are keeping you and the entire community of GlobalGivers in our thoughts these days, as you stay safe and keep the hope alive with your generosity. As always, thank you for contributing to a local, human-centered response to the Rohingya displacement crisis. 

In solidarity,

Andrea + the GlobalGiving Team 

HOPE Foundation's Midwifery training program
HOPE Foundation's Midwifery training program
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Location: Washington, D.C. - USA
EIN: 30-0108263

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About GlobalGiving’s Disaster Response

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