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Published on 1 January 2021

Chief Executive Amanda Mukwashi has visited the Jamtoli camp in Bangladesh to see the difference that Christian Aid and its partners are making.

Christian Aid has taken on coordination of the camp, working with over 40 local and international agencies to provide humanitarian aid. There are now over 50,000 people there. During her two-day visit, Amanda met some of the families living in the camp, and heard how food, shelter and healthcare have helped people still recovering from the exhaustion and trauma of their escape from Myanmar.

But Amanda also highlighted the funding gap that is putting this vital aid at risk. A joint response plan, launched in February 2018 to meet the needs of the Rohingya and to help their host community, still has less than a quarter of the budget it needs.

'For me, this is about showing our values and living our values in action.'

- Amanda Mukwashi - Chief Executive.

The shortfall couldn't come at a worse time. With the arrival of the monsoon season, this vulnerable community now faces further dangers.

Last year, heavy rainfall triggered landslides that killed 170 people. With support from the International Organization for Migration, we have been reinforcing the shelters in Jamtoli to better withstand the heavy rains and, where possible, moving some of those living in the camp to safer areas.

Maintaining sanitation and clean water is the only defence against a deadly outbreak of cholera; staff at the camp work hard to clean latrines and drain away stagnant water, but they know this job will become much harder now that the monsoon has arrived. People urgently need to be evacuated to safer locations with better housing and facilities.

When violence against the Rohingya escalated in Myanmar last year, we quickly deployed a team to the region of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, to help deal with one of the fastest-growing refugee crises in the world. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have crossed the border to escape persecution, but many people at Jamtoli are trying to come to terms with the death of a child, a parent or a partner. Stateless and stranded, they are not yet out of danger. 

All displaced people deserve respect and care. Please stand together with them.

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