The first days of baby Kismat’s life have been filled with fear and uncertainty. Her mother, 18-year-old Hazera, gave birth at a Unicef-supported health centre just days after arriving at a camp for Rohingya refugees.
Before Kismat was born, Hazera and her family were forced to flee their homes in Myanmar. The family spent 10 days hiding in a forest after soldiers attacked their village. It took heavily pregnant Hazera five days to walk across the border to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. “I was in so much pain,” she said. “I feel safe here.”
This is not the start in life that she had imagined for her daughter. More than 680,000 Rohingya people, around 60% of them children, have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since last August. Camps, which were already home to over 300,000 Rohingya refugees, are now overwhelmed. The lives of thousands of children like Kismat are in danger.
What is happening in Myanmar and Bangladesh?
Who are the Rohingya people?
The Rohingya are an ethnic group, mostly Muslim, who have lived in western Myanmar for centuries.
Why are they being persecuted?
The Rohingya people are stateless, unrecognised as citizens by the Myanmar Government, which means that they face discrimination, violence and extreme poverty.
Where are the Rohingya people going?
Around 650,000 Rohingya, 60% of them children, have walked more than 40 miles to reach safety in Bangladesh. Many children have walked for days and are arriving sick, exhausted and in desperate need of clean water, food and shelter.
What's happening now for Rohingya refugees?
Since August 2017, thousands of Rohingya refugees have been arriving from Myanmar every week. It’s one of the fastest growing refugee crises. Unicef are on the ground providing life-saving services and supplies that will help prevent and treat disease, protect children from danger and exploitation, and provide a safe space to learn and play.
There’s still much more we can do
Rohingya refugees are still arriving in Bangladesh. They are spread across official refugee camps, makeshift settlements, host communities and new encampments near to the border. While some of these places have humanitarian services, they are overcrowded and people have had to settle in new areas. Many of these new places are difficult to access, flooded and have very limited infrastructure.
With your help, we can reach more children like Kismat and Samira with life-saving care and protection.