How you can help Rohingya Muslims

How you can help Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar

SBS News – 11 Nov 2017

The Federal Government has joined Australian humanitarian agencies in launching a four-week joint appeal to raise funds for Rohingya populations affected by the violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced the government would match public donations of up to $5 million to the Australian Red Cross and the UNHCR.

The commitment is part of the $30 million contribution the government has made since September.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said humanitarian agencies play a critical role in the international response to the crisis.

“United Nations agencies, NGOs and the Red Cross are responding to urgent needs by providing life-saving food and nutrition, clean water, sanitation, shelter, health care and trauma counselling,” she said.

“I urge the Australian public and businesses to give generously. Your support will help to deliver life-saving assistance to those caught up in this crisis.”

Rohingya plight

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled predominantly Buddhist Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh since late August to escape the ethnic violence that accompanied a brutal military counter-insurgency operation after Rohingya militant attacks on security posts in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

While Myanmar recognises 135 ethnic groups, it has not recognised Rohingya Muslims and they have been left stateless and subject to persecution since the 1970s.

Many have fled to Bangladesh where a refugee camp has been set up in the southern coastal town of Cox’s Bazar. Other Rohingyas have travelled to countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and India.

On November 2, Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged people “not to quarrel” as she visited areas riven by ethnic violence for the first time since the Rohingya Muslims began fleeing.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize winner, has faced heavy international criticism for not taking a higher profile in responding to what UN officials have called “ethnic cleansing” by the army, a claim Myanmar rejects.

Lately, Suu Kyi, who does not control the military, has appeared to take a stronger lead in the crisis, focusing government efforts on rehabilitation and pledging to repatriate refugees.

In September she condemned “all human rights violations”.

“We are concerned to hear the number of Muslims fleeing areas to Bangladesh.”

“Hate and fear are the main scourges of our world. It is only by removing all the sources of hate and fear that we shall be able to remove conflict from our country and our world.”

How you can help:

Red Cross Australia

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is one of the world’s largest humanitarian network, whose 17 million volunteers reach 150 million people across 190 nations.

The Red Cross is providing the Rohingya with help such as first aid and medical care.

It is also providing basic services such as food, water and shelter, and safe places for women and children. Donate to Red Cross Australia online.

Oxfam Australia

Oxfam has people on the ground helping the most vulnerable people to access clean drinking water, portable toilets, sanitation facilities and other essential supplies.

Part of a global movement, Oxfam strives to help create lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty.

Donate online.


The UNHCR, also known as the UN Refugee Agency, is the UN body mandated to protect and support refugees.

It is helping provide shelter and other basic services such as food and blankets to Rohingyas in the Bangladesh refugee camps of Kutupalong and Nayapara. Donate online.

DFAT Crisis Hub

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is partnering with Australian humanitarian agencies to offer assistance to displaced people and host communities both in Bangladesh and Myanmar. Find out more here.

CARE Australia

CARE Australia is dedicated to ending poverty and achieving social justice. The charity focuses on women and girls, fighting for equal rights and opportunities. Children account for more than half of the people who have fled to Bangladesh. Donate online.


The Catholic Agency for Aid and Development, Caritas began in Australia in 1964.

Caritas is providing urgent humanitarian relief to thousands of Rohingya refugees who have crossed the Myanmar border to the Cox’s Bazaar district in Bangladesh. Donate online.

Plan International Australia

Plan International is working hard to help children and families recover and respond, both now and in the long term. The group is helping to build toilets, sanitation facilities and run education sessions on hygiene. Donate online.

Save the Children

Save the Children is one of Australia’s largest aid and development agencies dedicated to helping children. Donate online.

World Vision

World Vision is responding to the urgent needs of thousands of people who have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Donate here.

Human Appeal

Aid organisation Human Appeal is providing emergency assistance such as medical equipment, food and water, and shelter. Donate online.

Human Appeal aims to fight poverty and injustice through providing immediate relief and development programs.

One Nation

A UK not-for-profit online fundraising organisation, One Nation, has also launched a campaign to provide support to Rohingyas.

It is providing medical aid and emergency food parcels and water to the ethnic minority. Donate online.

The One Nation team says its already on the ground at the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar and will have more members from the UK joining it.