Natural Disaster Relief
For marginalized communities around the world, natural disasters can be devastating amongst already vulnerable populations. At Humanity Auxilium, we work to raise funds to assist with any medical relief or aid needed in the midst of a major disaster, including flooding, heavy rainfall, wildfires, and so much more.
Extreme weather events and natural disasters, which are growing more frequent and severe, have displaced an average of 24 million people annually since 2008 within their own countries, according to NPR. We must act to support those who are affected by natural disasters, such as those injured, displaced, or in need of various other medical and mental health supports during this difficult time in their lives.
Unfortunately, the Rohingya are always in need of our help. “Each year, monsoon rains and heavy winds pose a severe threat to Rohingya refugees that can potentially worsen the Rohingya refugee crisis.” The season, which lasts between May and October, contains about 80% of the annual rainfall.
•The season presents a severe threat and additional challenges that Rohingya refugees must face, including flooding and landslides.
•The extreme weather, coupled with makeshift shelters and steep slopes, can result in injuries.
•The rainy season brings heightened risk of disease which can also cause illness among the families.
•Climate change has only exacerbated the threat posed by monsoon season. Bangladesh, where more than 880,000 Rohingya refugees live, has always been prone to tropical storms and is one of five countries that has been most affected by climatic disasters worldwide over the past three decades.
(Source: UNHCR Canada)
WEBINAR August 8, 2021
On August 8 at 9 a.m. EST, we will be hosted an important discussion surrounding the major threat and impact of flooding on an already vulnerable refugee population — the over one million Rohingya refugees living in camps in Bangladesh.
We spoke with Dr. Mumtaz and Mr. Tofail Ahmad, a senior program manager, from our community center, about why this monsoon is different and more devastating than previous years on the refugee population.
They also updated us on the continuous impact of COVID-19 on the Rohingya population and on the Rohingya’s physical and mental health as the world is moving on from COVID-19 and they are still being affected.
On March 22nd, a massive fire swept through the Rohingya refugee camps — the largest fire in the camps to date. Around 92,000 individuals were impacted by this incident. Authorities are reporting an estimated 45,000 people across three camps were directly affected and temporarily displaced. Approximately 10,000 shelters were partially or fully damaged and one local field hospital was burned to ashes.
Our hearts broke when we heard this news. These refugees have been so much since fleeing Myanmar in 2017 and not only have to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, but now thousands are being further displaced after losing their homes and personal belongings. At Humanity Auxilium, we knew we had to step up and support these refugees in any way we could. We quickly dispersed funds to our local partners and they immediately went to work supporting those who had been affected by this tragic event.
In the first 48 hours, our teams provided medical support to 2,878 Rohingya. They also were able to provide supplies to those who were displaced and in need; teams gave cooked meals to 2,170 refugees and distributed 600 hygiene kits, 600 dress packs, and 200 floor mats.
After 10 days following the fire, our teams had given medical support to 22,342 refugees who needed attention — many with burn injuries or injuries from trying to escape the fires. Mobile teams were able to support 18,629 Rohingya while a nearby health post supported an additional 3,713 people. Teams also provided cooked meals to 34,465 hungry Rohingya and distributed 2,000 hygiene kits, 2,000 dress packs, 2,000 floor mats and 21,070 medical support kits. An additional 62,301 hot meal packs were also given to displaced and affected refugees.
This tragic event tested how quickly we were able to respond to a fast and ever-changing situation that we weren’t prepared for. But, through our generous donors, we were able to support so many people who immediately needed help. We are so grateful to our partners on the ground who quickly mobilized and effectively helped tens of thousands who were desperately in need.