1. WHO ARE THE ROHINGYA?
Often described as the “world’s most persecuted minority,” the Rohingya are a predominantly Muslim ethnic group, mostly concentrated in Rakhine, one of Myanmar’s poorest states. The Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for generations, many migrating from Bangladesh during British rule. After gaining independence, Myanmar, a majority Buddhist nation, refused to acknowledge the Rohingya as citizens, rendering them a stateless people.
Without recognition as citizens or permanent residents of the country, the Rohingya have limited access to education, jobs, and health services, resulting in chronic poverty and marginalization. Violence targeting Rohingya over the last several decades has driven hundreds of thousands to neighboring countries.
2. WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW?
More than 655,000 Rohingya people have crossed into Bangladesh since August 25, 2017, fleeing ethnic violence in Rakhine State in Myanmar’s southwest. 58% of them are children.Well over a third of Myanmar’s Rohingya population — roughly 1.1 million people — are now seeking safety elsewhere.
The mass exodus has increased the total Rohingya population in Bangladesh to more than 800,000. In particular, the number of Rohingya people in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area has nearly tripled, and over half of the new arrivals are still living in informal settlements with little or no shelter, food, clean water, or sanitation. Most are completely dependent on support from aid agencies.
3. WHAT HELP IS NEEDED MOST?
Layru* and her two-year-old daughter Hala* at a Concern nutrition support center at Hakim Para camp in Bangladesh. Hala weighed less than 12 pounds when admitted. Layru says the family walked for 15 days to escape Myanmar, with little or no food along the way. She has three other children. Photo: Kieran McConville *Names changed for security
4.WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
You can help us reach more Rohingya families in Bangladesh — and save more lives.