Voices of the Myanmar Refugee Crisis: Johara

Voices of the Myanmar Refugee Crisis: Johara


“My brother was killed. He was 21-years-old. He was shot by the armed men when they attacked us,” says Johara, 27 (pictured). "Now my surviving brother lives with me too, he is 15-years-old.

“I only eat twice a day. I make sure my children get what they need, then I feed myself. This rice is essential, we would not be alive without this.

“My children are not coping well with life here. In the humidity, and with the filth, they are suffering from skin infections. They are sick and unhappy all day and night.

"Although life here is difficult, it is better than in Myanmar. I feel safer now we have left Myanmar. Bangladesh people are kind to us.”

Around 80 percent of the refugees fleeing Myanmar are women, children and small babies. According to a recent CARE assessment in Balukhali Camp in Cox’s Bazar, women lack privacy, safe places to sleep, sufficient sanitation facilities and mental health support. In addition, a lot of them do not have the means to feed their children and worry for their mental and physical health; many children are suffering from traumatic experiences, skin diseases, diarrhea and fevers. Additionally, close to half a million refugees from Myanmar are in urgent need of assistance because they have either witnessed, experienced or are at risk of sexual assault or other forms of gender-based violence

CARE has secured funds to establish four women-friendly spaces for 30,000 refugees in the coming weeks. The centers will be used to identify and provide support to survivors of gender-based violence, to raise awareness of emergency care services, and to establish safe entry points for life-saving medical referrals and psychosocial support. CARE will also establish three mobile health clinics, where women and adolescent girls can seek support for family planning, maternal health and child care. 

Photo credit: Kathleen Prior/CARE

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