Violence in Rakhine State in Myanmar has led to over 600,000 people fleeing over the border to Bangladesh since 25 August 2017. Most of these people arrived with few or no possessions and are reliant on humanitarian aid to survive. Almost 60 percent of new arrivals are children.
Australia is working closely with humanitarian partners to provide assistance to displaced people and host communities, both in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Australia's humanitarian assistance
- On 23 October Australia announced $10 million in assistance to support communities affected by the violence in Rakhine State, including those displaced to Bangladesh. This is in addition to $20 million announced in September.
- Australian assistance will be provided through the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Australian NGOs and BRAC, the world’s largest NGO.
- Our assistance includes support to communities still in Rakhine State, provided through the Red Cross movement.
- Australian support will provide food, nutrition, shelter, trauma counselling, clean water and education to communities in need. Our support will particularly focus on the needs of women and girls, and children, and support provision of protection services to these groups.
- Australia is one of the largest donors to response efforts to this crisis.
- Australia also has a substantial ongoing annual humanitarian program in Myanmar. We provided $18 million in 2016-17 including towards humanitarian needs in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states. Australia has also provided a further $16.5 million since 2013 to displaced people and host communities in Cox’s Bazar.
Factsheet: Australia's assistance in response to displacement from Rakhine State, Myanmar [PDF 208 KB] | [DOCX 289 KB]
Myanmar – Bangladesh Joint Emergency Appeal
The Australian Government is supporting a joint appeal by Australian humanitarian agencies responding to this crisis. The Government is matching donations to the Australian Red Cross and Australia for UNHCR. Please visit the joint appeal webpage for more information.
BRAC's activities with displaced communities
Australia has provided $3 million in funding to BRAC, the world's largest local NGO. BRAC is working with displaced people and host communities in Cox's Bazar to provide healthcare, clean water, and safe spaces for children. BRAC has already installed over 870 wells, distributed 5,000 litres of safe drinking water, built over 2,700 toilets, and provided over 4,000 children and youth with safe play and recreation spaces. Our funding will help BRAC to continue this work and reach even more people.
Video: BRAC's pink vests: On the ground with Asif Saleh
WFP providing food and nutrition with Australia's support
With support from Australia ($8 million in 2017-18 so far), WFP will provide food and nutrition to people in Cox's Bazar. Funding from Australia will help WFP provide 740,000 people with 25kg of rice every two weeks until February 2018. At end October, WFP has provided over 65,000 women and children with SuperCereal Plus, used to make nutritious porridge.