Eat Act Pray - October
Less than 2 months ago violence erupted in Rakhine state, north Myanmar.
The Rohingya people are often described as "the world's most persecuted minority". Up until recent events, there were over 1 million Rohingya living in Myanmar. They are not considered one of the country's 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.
Before this most recent bout of violence, ongoing conflict in Rakhine State has previously left thousands of internally displaced people (IDP) camps and others in isolated villages, living in dire conditions with limited freedom of movement.
But things just got worse.
A fresh outbreak of violence has seen hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people flee their homes. It’s estimated that over half a million people have crossed the border into Bangladesh, fleeing the violence. This is not to mention the thousands more who just became homeless within Myanmar.
Humaira is a Rohingya Muslim from northern Myanmar.
Only a few weeks ago Myanmar security forces killed her father and her husband leaving her to flee her village with three young children and her mother. At the time Humaira was 9 months pregnant. After walking for many days, she arrived at a refugee camp in Bangladesh. This is where Humaira’s baby was born just a couple of weeks ago.
When we met her, she was carrying a brand-new tarpaulin, but she told us that hadn’t been able to find a patch of land inside the camp where she could set up a small shelter for herself and her vulnerable family.
And so here we are. Refugee camps are growing on the Myanmar Bangladesh border, people are fleeing violence and death and there’s a growing need for fresh water, food, shelter and medicine within the camps.
But we’re already on the ground…
Talk it over
There are an estimated 43 million internally displaced people in the world. These are the people who’ve fallen between the cracks. These are people without a home, without rights and without a clue as to how this story will end.
- How does this make you feel?
- Is this the first time you’ve heard of what’s happening in Northern Myanmar? If so, why?
- What should be our response to this news?
Christian Aid has decided to launch a high-level crisis appeal to help all communities displaced by violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, and Rohingya Muslims who have crossed the border into Bangladesh as refugees.
We’ve been working through local organisations in Myanmar and Bangladesh for some time.
In Bangladesh, we are sending £40,000 to local partners. Through the appeal we aim to raise more funds so that we can scale up our response.
Over 3,000 people have been supported with healthcare so far. Over 64,000 are targeted to receive WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene), food, essential items and health camp support.
We’re hoping to increase this response in the coming weeks.
If you are able, please donate now and help our response efforts. Thank you.
God who hurts with humanity,
we lift up our voices and pour out our hearts to You,
in sadness, grief and disbelief at the devastating violence
forcing so many people from their homes in Myanmar.
Listening to stories of villages being burned,
families being torn apart and people fleeing for their lives;
we pray they will find places of safety to take refuge.
Reading reports of people walking for days across difficult terrain,
of bodies arriving weary with sickness, hunger and thirst;
we pray for deep rest and more food and medicines to help them heal.
Strengthen the Christian Aid partners already at work.
Give them the access they need
to reach displaced people in Bangladesh and Myanmar;
provide more funding so they can provide more help.
And may our listening, hearing and reading
move us all to make a generous response.
in your merciful name we pray,