DEC member charities are calling for urgent funding to help reach more than a thousand children who are alone and at risk after fleeing violence in Myanmar and crossing into neighbouring Bangladesh.
Save the Children has registered at least 1,213 children who are separated from their families or have lost the people closest to them. Most are already traumatised and the charities are warning that the added threat of trafficking or assault means bringing them to safety or reuniting them with their families is vital.
Emma Thompson, ActionAid ambassador, who visited Myanmar in 2011, said:
Having visited Myanmar six years ago, the suffering of the Rohingya people is devastating to witness. More than half of those fleeing Myanmar and arriving in Bangladesh are children. Many are frightened and alone, separated from their families in the panic to escape, and in desperate need of food and shelter. The DEC charities are there now, and with our support they can help so many more people. Please donate.
It is mainly Rohingya women and children who have fled violence in Myanmar. More than half of them, 300,000, are children.
Lisa Akero, Protection, Gender and Inclusion Delegate for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said:
These are people with a strong sense of community, they support each other’s families and look after each other’s children, but it is obvious that the needs are huge and these communities need support. If we cannot meet the need, there is a growing risk of violence, exploitation and continued trauma.
DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said:
Being separated from your children is a parent’s greatest fear, and over a thousand children are alone in the camps.
We urgently need more funds so that DEC member charities can provide even more emergency relief and protection to children who desperately need to find their families. We hope the British public will continue to rise to the occasion and lend their generous support to this appeal.
The Red Cross is helping to reconnect people with their families, and Save the Children is helping children with emotional care.
The DEC emergency appeal is enabling its member charities to continue to help the estimated 536,000 men, women and children who have fled to Bangladesh.
To make a donation to the DEC Emergency Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 610, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.
The UK Government will match pound for pound the first £5 million donated by the public to the DEC Emergency Appeal.
Stay up to date with developments in Bangladesh, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter: www.twitter.com/decappeal or on Facebook via www.facebook.com/DisastersEmergencyCommittee.