Myanmar Refugee Crisis

The humanitarian situation in Bangladesh and Myanmar continues to deteriorate as hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing violence in the northern areas of Myanmar’s Rakhine State into Bangladesh.

This is the largest and most complex crisis in the region in decades. The needs are urgent and immense. The majority of new arrivals are living in makeshift settlements in dire conditions. These camps are built far from the road, with walk-in only access. The continued influxes of people – combined with the difficult terrain, high temperatures, heavy rains and mud – make access to services such as heath care extremely difficult.

High numbers of children are arriving on their own and are highly vulnerable - girls are particularly at risk, as trafficking and exploitation are common in these types of crises and people need protection.

Red Cross Response

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is responding in Myanmar and Bangladesh, including in border areas.

In Myanmar, the Red Cross has expanded its existing operation in Rakhine state to help meet growing need and is providing thousands of people with food, water, relief and health care.

In Bangladesh, Red Cross partners are working with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to provide displaced people with medical care, emotional, gender and protection support, shelter, relief items, water, sanitation and hygiene and food security. Together, we are supporting the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach communities to meet their basic needs.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is working to help reunite families who have been separated. We have set up safe spaces where women and children can go for support, and are working to have places accessible for safe disclosures and referrals.

The Canadian Red Cross has been involved in the response in the following ways:
  • We have sent a mobile team to Bangladesh. This team walks a minimum of two hours into the camps each day, with medical supplies on their backs, to provide life-saving health services to the most vulnerable people who might not otherwise receive care.
  • We are also supporting the Norwegian and Finnish Red Cross field hospital that opened earlier this month. The 60-bed hospital has three wards, an operation theater, delivery suite with maternity ward, psychosocial support, and an outpatient department and isolation unit. Up to 250 patients are seen each day.
  • With support from the Government of Canada, and generous Canadians, we have contributed funds and relief items in support of the International Federation and International Committee of the Red Cross Appeals for Bangladesh and Myanmar, and are supporting the mobilization of regional and global response teams.
Canadians can support the Red Cross response by donating to the Myanmar Refugee Appeal.

Reports for Donors

The following reports are available to view and download in PDF format.