Bring healing to
Rohingya refugees

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Medical Teams works where the needs are greatest. Often, that requires us to be flexible and quick to respond—disasters can be unpredictable and sudden. The situation that the Rohingya refugees find themselves in is just such a disaster.

That is why we are launching an emergency response to help them. Learn more about the crisis and how YOU can help.


  • Who are the Rohingya?

    The Rohingya are a stateless minority Muslim group, primarily from Rakhine State, Myanmar. Because of their status, they’ve been denied access to education, citizenship, employment, and even healthcare. Nearly one million Rohingya are impacted by the current crisis, with over half of them fleeing across the border to Bangladesh in recent weeks. Most of the refugees are women and young children. 

  • Why are the Rohingya fleeing?

    On August 25, 2017, violence erupted in Rakhine State, Myanmar, forcing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people to leave their homes immediately in search of safety. Entire villages have been attacked and burned, with survivors fleeing on foot for days through jungle, across mountains, and across rivers.

    Once they cross the border into Bangladesh, there is little relief. Makeshift settlements and host communities in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, are completely overwhelmed by the influx of refugees. There is almost no food or healthcare, and a dangerous lack of clean water or hygiene. The temporary shelters the Rohingya refugees live in are set up on the side of muddy hills—a heavy rain could wipe them away completely.

  • What are the most urgent needs of the Rohingya refugees?

    Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees who has spent most of his life working as a humanitarian around the world, described the needs of the Rohingya in this way:

    “They had to flee very sudden and cruel violence, and they have fled with nothing. Their needs are enormous – food, health, shelter. They have absolutely nothing. I have hardly seen in my career people that have come with so little. They need everything.”

    The lack of clean water and sanitation is especially dangerous. The conditions the Rohingya are living in greatly increase the probability of disease outbreaks that would threaten thousands of lives. 

  • What is Medical Teams International doing to help the Rohingya?

    Medical Teams responds to disasters where the needs are urgent, where we have access, and where our resources can bring healing where there is no other option. That’s why we sent an assessment team to Bangladesh–to determine the most pressing obstacles to the health of Rohingya refugees, and formulate a plan to overcome them.

    Working in collaboration with partners on the ground, Medical Teams is beginning a response in the Kutupalong settlement area. Our goal is to reach 100,000 Rohingya refugees with essential health care and hygiene services. Initially, we will help prevent the outbreak of infectious disease through community outreach activities connected to a temporary Diarrhea Treatment Center. We will also serve as a vital link between the critically ill and their access to emergency care–referring patients with urgent needs to nearby healthcare facilities. 

  • Will Medical Teams send volunteers to Bangladesh?

    We already are. Our staff assessment team has built a robust plan to manage the response, and volunteers are critical to make it happen. The first-in disaster response team of 18 staff and volunteers is either en route or already on the ground in Bangladesh. A second team will deploy later in October to take over this life-saving work.

    Our volunteer program is accepting applications. If you are interested in being added to our disaster response volunteer roster and have medical experience (as a nurse—either registered or practitioner—doctor, paramedic, physician assistant, etc.), please apply here. Priority is given to those who are pre-qualified members of the Humanitarian Response Team.

  • Will Medical Teams send medical supplies or other donated goods into Bangladesh?

    There are strict regulations regarding the import of medical or other supplies into Bangladesh. Therefore, our response will not include sending hygiene kits, medical supplies, or other products into the country. Any necessary supplies will be procured locally, through our trusted partners. 

  • What can I do to help the Rohingya refugees?

    First, please pray for safety and healing—both in body and mind—for these people who have suffered unimaginable horrors. Pray for peace in their homeland, and that their needs would be met quickly.

    Consider making a donation to help our teams carry out the mission of serving the Rohingya in Bangladesh. Your gift will be put to work to heal and save lives.

    We will be posting regular updates on the situation in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get real-time reports on our work.

    Thank you for supporting these critical efforts to bring healing to people in crisis.

Your action today is critical to saving lives.

How will you respond?