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In August 2017, over 700,000 ethnic Rohingya people from Myanmar fled their homes to escape a horrific wave of violence. Most of them fled to neighboring Bangladesh, where they joined hundreds of thousands already living in refugee camps in the country's south-eastern districts of Cox's Bazar and Bandarban. Neither the Government of Bangladesh nor the international community were prepared for what would become the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world.

Many of them suffered serious injuries and psychological trauma from their experiences and arrived with barely any possessions. They are in need of food, adequate healthcare and shelter as well as clean water. Hygiene and sanitary conditions inside the overcrowded camps are also very poor, meaning the risks of deadly diseases spreading quickly are high, especially in the rainy season.

Malteser International is responding, but we need your help.

Your donation supports our work for better living conditions for refugees and local populations

In order to improve the desolate conditions in the refugee camp, our work mainly focuses on the areas of health, hygiene, nutrition and psychosocial counselling. In three health centers, we provide medical care, especially expectant mothers and newborns, and provide psychosocial counselling. In addition, to stem the spread of diseases such as Covid-19, we conduct health and hygiene trainings in the camps and have improved sanitation facilities at schools and community clinics.

Because the local communities close to the refugee camps are struggling with high levels of poverty, we support them to find new sources of income and to represent their political interests effectively at community level so that they can find their own sustainable way out of poverty.

Likewise, through our local partner organizations, we provide emergency aid in the event of natural disasters such as floods and work to strengthen local actors.

Our projects:

Clinic manager in the world's largest refugee camp

Interview with Dr. Sadia Afroz

For almost three years, Dr. Sadia Afroz has been working in the world's largest refugee camp in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. As clinic manager in one of the three health stations of our local partner organization Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK), she is dedicated to improving the health of the Rohingya on a daily basis. We talked to her about her work, the challenges on the ground, the state of health of the refugees and her motivation.

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Community health worker Fatema: "Serving my community motivates me"

"I assure the women that I am always available for them if they face any problems. Day and night, I will support them." - 50-year-old Fatema leaves no doubt: she will be there when a pregnant woman calls during the night because labor is starting or because she is experiencing complications. She tells this with pride and a smile on her lips that exposes her small gap between her teeth. Fatema is one of about one hundred community health workers of the three health posts Malteser International runs together with the local organization Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK) in the world's largest refugee camp.

Learn more about Fatema's story

Refugees in Bangladesh: „My heart, mind and soul are still in Myanmar.“

Hundreds of thousands of members of the Rohingya Muslim minority fled in autumn 2017 to escape violent attacks. In the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh the people receive shelter, food as well as medical care. They can survive, but is that enough? "We have enough food here in the refugee camp. That's good, but it doesn't let our minds rest. I don't feel at home here. Home, is my house in Myanmar," says Jamalida, a refugee living in the camp in Bangladesh.

Find out what home means to Jamalida, Shakiya and Iman Hamidur Rahman.

Read the #MomentsOfHome stories from Bangladesh

#WomenHumanitarians - "Service above self, doing good, and showing kindness"

Even in her young years, humanitarian aid was a matter close to Habiba Mohamed’s heart. The 35-year-old native of Nairobi, Kenya joined Malteser International in 2018 as Health And Nutrition Coordinator in Bangladesh, and is helping to ensure medical care for Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar. In this interview, she talks about her experiences as a female humanitarian worker on the frontlines in a career that has seen her respond to emergencies in multiple countries.

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Rohinga: ''I only survived because I was left for dead''

Yasin Sadak* still feels pain from the gunshot wounds on his forearm and hand. The wounds are a reminder of a horrific experience that would remain with him for a long time. He remembers the fateful night in August 2017, when he was shot while running away from armed men who had attacked his village in northwestern Myanmar.

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Who are the Rohingya?

The Rohingya are one of the many ethnic minorities in Myanmar. The vast majority are Muslim living in mainly Buddhist Myanmar. They have been called the "world's most persecuted minority". Find out why.

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Rajuma's story

Rajuma is only 30 years old, but has endured the most unimaginable horrors. During brutal attacks in Myanmar, Rajuma lost everyone in her family, except one of her five children.

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Life in a refugee camp

How does everyday life look like in a refugee camp? How is life organized in the biggest refugee camp worldwide? Insights into life in the "mega camp" Cox's Bazar. 

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Become a sponsoring partner and provide longlasting aid for people in need

As a sponsoring partner, your regular donation gives real, life-changing help to people in need in our project regions. Your commitment helps us plan ahead and bring about long-lasting impact.

  • We put your generous donation to use, bringing help to those who need it most.
  • Our monthly newsletter will keep you regularly updated on our work.
  • You can easily amend or stop your payment at any time.
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Project data

Our work in Bangladesh

Project region:
Cox's Bazar

The German Relief Coalition (Aktion Deutschland Hilft - ADH),
German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt - AA)

Coast Foundation,
Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK)


Antje Kania
Email: antje.kania(at)malteser-international.org

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