On 25 August 2017, a spate of violence in northern Rakhine State sparked an exodus of 688,000 people fleeing across the border to neighbouring Bangladesh. They crossed by land, river and sea, taking with them their most precious possessions – in some cases carrying family members who could not walk themselves.
No one could have foreseen the scale of this crisis. The violence has had a profound impact on all those living in northern Rakhine State. Markets have been disrupted, access to schools and health clinics has been cut, livelihoods have been lost and people have been displaced. Villages have been burned down to the ground. The fabric of several communities has been changed forever.
During this time, the Red Cross Movement has led the humanitarian response providing more than 200,000 people with food, water, health care, cash and other aid. More than 200 staff members have travelled by foot, car, truck and boat to reach the remotest of communities. The need for humanitarian help still remains very high.
Some areas are now relatively calm and stable but others remain tense. People are still fleeing and those left behind are anxious and uncertain about their future.
The Red Cross Movement is committed to assisting the community in the long term, helping it recover from the events of the last six months.