Humanitarian Action

A world of pain in three stories. This is the refugee crisis today

I didn't think I would return here again, I hoped I would live in my homeland."Rohingya grandmother Rahima Khatun (centre), 55, stands outside her shelter in Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh with her five children and seven grandchildren. Rahima was first made a refugee in 1978 at the age of 14, then again in 1992. On that occasion, her eldest daughter died of illness after the young family fled Myanmar. ; More than 640,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar, seeking safety in Bangladesh in 2017. While UNHCR intensified efforts to respond to this mass displacement and provide shelter in and around existing camps near Cox’s Bazar, the sheer numbers mean there is much hardship to contend with. Whole families, young widowed mothers and unaccompanied minors were among those fleeing from persecution and violence in northern Rakhine state. Many arrived traumatised, in poor physical condition and in need of life-saving support. Cramped and deprived living conditions in the camps present concerns, but despite the hardships, the Rohingya feel safe compared to the situation back home. UNHCR is providing protection, food, clean water, shelter, health care, trauma counselling and reunification for separated families.

Facing the crisis: A Rohingya family living in a refugee camp in Bangladesh Image: ©UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

Filippo Grandi
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, (UNHCR)
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