From safe birth to homes of peace: UNFPA’s work providing life-saving care to Rohingya refugees

A mass exodus of more than 725,000 Rohingya people from Myanmar began in mid-August 2017, with many forced to flee to Bangladesh, adding to the estimated 200,000 Rohingya refugees who had already fled to Bangladesh in previous years. Over a year later, conditions in Myanmar are not safe enough for these refugees to return to their homes. 

UNFPA, the United Nations reproductive health and rights agency, remains in Bangladesh, caring for women and girls in what has become the world’s largest refugee camp.

Midwives deliver life-saving care © UNFPA/Allison Joyce

With  Friends of UNFPA donors support, UNFPA has trained and deployed 100 midwives focused on the refugee population. When pregnant women are forced from their homes, midwives are key to ensuring they deliver their babies safely.  

UNFPA has also opened 18 women-friendly spaces – places that offer women and girls a safe place to talk, receive information and care, and participate in recreational activities. Rohingya women aptly refer to these facilities as “homes of peace.” 

Girls participate in GEMS Youth Curriculum at a Women Friendly Space in a Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.  
© UNFPA/Allison Joyce
Girls participate in GEMS Youth Curriculum at a Women Friendly Space, aptly referred to as “homes of peace”. © UNFPA/Allison Joyce

Thanks in part to Friends of UNFPA donors support, UNFPA is able to operate mobile health clinics that reach people too afraid to travel outside of their tents to receive medical care. UNFPA has also been able to distribute thousands of dignity kits – kits containing menstrual pads, soap, underwear, a flashlight, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and a comb.  

UNFPA has also opened 18 women-friendly spaces for Rohingya refugees- places that offer women and girls a safe place – aptly referred to as “homes of peace.”


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