Lost and displaced: Families in Bangladesh look for answers


This post includes a photo galley which can be viewed here.

In just over two months, more than 600,000 people fled Myanmar. Their arrival in Cox Bazaar district in Bangladesh caused a large-scale humanitarian crisis which continues to escalate, putting pressure on aid agencies and communities already helping hundreds of thousands of people from previous waves of violence in Myanmar.

The people arriving are living in terrible conditions in desperate need of life-saving assistance including clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, essential food items and emergency supplies.

An estimated half of the new influx are children, many of them unaccompanied or separated from their families during the dreadful journey.

The ICRC, together with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), has deployed teams and volunteers in the camps to collect cases of separated families and provide them with the means to get in touch with their loved ones by offering free phone calls. More than 6,000 successful calls were facilitated between the family members. Moreover, the teams have been trained on other restoring family links tools which will be used to trace family members who are unreachable through phone calls.

The ICRC and BDRCS are installing solar charging stations in the camps to help the new arrivals to charge their phones and to be able to call their families. So far, five stations have been installed with another 15 to be finalized soon.