The Central African Republic has been marred by political instability for decades but the violence peaked in 2013 following a coup d’état in March, led by the predominately Muslim Seleka rebels.
Widespread fighting between the Seleka and predominately Christian anti-Balaka militias led to the deaths of more than 5,000 people and destroyed the already fragile social fabric. It also led to the virtual collapse of the economy and people’s livelihoods.
There are now more than 65 million people in the world who have been forced from their homes due to conflict or disaster (UNHCR), many of them struggling to meet their basic needs of food, water, shelter and access to essential services. However, the psychological trauma of their displacement is less visible, and often overlooked.
Whilst seeking to meet the urgent needs of over half a million people displaced from the conflict in Myanmar, Islamic Relief is also planning for the long-term.
“Islamic Relief has been responding to the needs of displaced people in Myanmar for years and unfortunately this will be the case for many years to come,” said David Crawford, Head of Islamic Relief’s Humanitarian Department. “It’s a protracted crisis that we need to have a long-term plan for.”
Huge numbers of refugees still arriving in Bangladesh
In 2016, we increased our humanitarian efforts in some of the world’s most challenging environments. As the war in Syria entered its sixth year, our £26.6 million emergency response programme supported over three million vulnerable people living in Syria as well as refugees in three neighbouring countries. In Iraq and Yemen, as the crises continued to shatter lives, we provided life-saving aid, often in areas that other organisations are unable to access.
At least 1,267 children are vulnerable to exploitation including human trafficking, sexual abuse, child labour and child marriage after fleeing the violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar.
The emergency situation has resulted in a reported 1,000 plus fatalities and the displacement of hundreds of thousands. According to United Nations estimates, that more than 400,000 men, women and children have fled Myanmar for refuge in Bangladesh over the past month, with thousands more arriving each day.