Over 700,000 Rohingya people have fled Myanmar since August 2017, escaping unimaginable horrors – shootings, rapes and abuses.
Crossing the border into Bangladesh, most arrived in a state of shock, grief and exhaustion, carrying nothing but the clothes on their back. Now three years on, and amid a global pandemic, they are battling the daily challenges of life in the cramped and unsanitary refugee camps. More than half of those living in the camps are children. And it is estimated that over 100,000 babies have been born in the camp.
Many families are reliant on food rations to survive. They need access to safe water and healthcare. Three in four children are out of school. And living conditions in the camps mean there is a major risk of disease outbreaks, including cholera and diphtheria. Girls are exposed to violence and abuse.
Save the Children is on the ground ensuring children are safe, protected and learning. We've built health facilities, including a 20-bed Primary Health Care Centre, which provide 24-hour care for sick and injured children, as well as support the safe delivery of newborns. We've installed toilets and bathing units, and are distributing essential hygiene items so children can stay healthy.
We're providing emotional and psychosocial support to children to help them come to terms with the traumatic experiences they've been through.
We've also set up temporary learning centres, and are distributing teaching and learning materials so children can continue to learn. And, we've set up Child and Girl Friendly Spaces where children can learn, play and be children again.
To meet the urgent health needs of the community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also opened a new Isolation Treatment Centre (ITC), with a capacity of up to 60 beds.
Sajida* fled persecution and violence in Myanmar with her family. She was hungry and scared, and she saw a man shot. They waited for days at the border to get on a boat to Bangladesh.
"We suffered a lot while fleeing Myanmar. We were scared when they chased us. They shot a man before our very eyes. It took 10 days to reach Bangladesh. For three days, we didn't eat. Some people died in the heat. We were so scared."
Sajida is now living in a refugee settlement in Bangladesh.
"We feel happy in Bangladesh. We can learn reading and writing, and play. I like my new friends. We share our secrets with each other and play together."