9 April 2018

Rohingya children at risk from monsoon flooding

Chittagong, Bangladesh, April 9, 2018 – Rohingya child refugees who fled violence and persecution in Myanmar face an imminent threat from flooding and water-borne diseases as the Bangladesh monsoon season begins.

Since August 2017, more than 671,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh, raising the total number to more than 800,000. While more than half of them are children, at least 40,000 are also unaccompanied. Living in fragile bamboo huts on steep hills, these makeshift homes are susceptible to collapse in heavy rains.

As part of its emergency response, SOS Children’s Villages Bangladesh opened five child care spaces to provide care and protection for refugee children in the Cox's Bazar district. Along with this emergency aid, SOS Children’s Villages provides family-based care for unaccompanied children while working to reunite them with their families wherever possible.

Shuba Murthi, Head of SOS Children’s Villages in Asia, said: “We are deeply concerned about the safety of Rohingya child refugees in Bangladesh, who are already facing severe health and nutritional challenges. If landslides happen these people will face their second disaster within a short time. We’ve taken precautions to prepare for the worst. We will coordinate with other NGOs to set up evacuation plans, and we are already seeking locations in host communities to set up Child-Friendly Spaces.”

SOS Child-Friendly Spaces provide Rohingya children with:
  • a safe space to play
  • access to information education
  • a balanced diet, nutritional screening and hygiene
  • trauma healing and psychological support
  • healthcare and referrals to access specialized medical services
For media enquiries please contact Alison Wheeler at awheeler@sos-usa.org or +1 (202) 888-1047.