Since late August 2017, hundreds of thousands of people have crossed the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh to seek refuge after violence broke out in Rakhine State; it’s estimated the humanitarian situation in the region is likely to get worse.
Temporary settlements and camps in Bangladesh are overflowing, with people seeking shelter wherever they can; in makeshift tents, on hillsides, and on side of the road.
What you can do to help
Donate to Australian Red Cross Myanmar Crisis Appeal through The Intrepid Foundation. We’ll match every dollar you give (up to donations of $20,000), which will go towards assisting Red Cross to provide humanitarian support to all those effected by violence in Rakhine State, including those who have sought safety in neighbouring countries.
Red Cross and Red Crescent are currently on the ground providing aid to people caught up in the violence on both sides of the border. In Bangladesh, this includes providing first aid and medical care, emergency shelter, food and safe drinking water, as well as establishing safe spaces for women and children who may be at risk of abuse and exploitation.
Red Cross teams in Myanmar are providing first aid and medical supplies to those who have been injured, as well as distributing clean drinking water and food. They are also helping those who are currently stranded at the border waiting to cross.
Red Cross is working with communities to strengthen local resilience, and is sending specialist aid workers to assist in relief, recovery, and crisis management operations. They are also working tirelessly to reconnect families who have become separated as they fled the violence.
Should we still travel to Myanmar?
Intrepid has never travelled into, or near, Rakhine State. We don’t take sides nor support discrimination of any kind. We are concerned about violence wherever it takes place, and the effect that this has on all people, including those in Rakhine State. We are committed to supporting impartial, independent, and inclusive responses to situations of crisis that complies with International Humanitarian Law.
However, we genuinely believe that travel can be a force for good, it builds understanding, and it makes us less prejudiced and more empathetic. This is something that the world desperately needs right now. We strive to include as much genuine real-life local interaction as we can on our trips, as this exposes both our travellers and local communities to different cultures and views, and the reality that we are all human.
Visit www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/rakhine/ to donate to The Intrepid Foundation’s Myanmar Crisis appeal.
International Red Cross Red Crescent is providing life-saving emergency relief such as clean water, food and shelter materials to hundreds of thousands of people affected by the crisis in Myanmar. Feature image: AJ Ghani/IFRC