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Kiwi aid worker shares 3 ways to help on World Refugee Day

A Kiwi living and working in the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh is calling for his fellow New Zealanders to support the huge numbers of Rohingya refugees.

“We’re facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis here in Bangladesh with over a million people forced from their homes due to conflict and persecution,” said Carl Adams, Country Director for Tearfund’s partner, Medair.

“The situation cannot be sustained either environmentally, socially or economically. The human cost of life as a refugee is punishing. Worse still, more than 50% of Rohingya refugees are children. These people have no livelihoods, limited options for education, ongoing fear and insecurity, are vulnerable to flooding/landslides and aren’t able to leave the camp as neither the country they came from, nor the one they are taking refuge in want them.”

“I know Kiwis are keen to do what they can to help from the bottom of the world and New Zealand support has played an important role in the camps. There are three key ways I think we can be effective.”

“Build awareness of the plight of the Rohingya refugees - and others around the world. Sadly, the spotlight on humanitarian crises is short-lived, and when the public spotlight shifts, funding for essential services in the camps and political pressure for a long-term solution for refugees living in limbo is weakened. You can keep the spotlight on by sharing articles about refugee issues, uplifting the voices of the refugee community in NZ and supporting initiatives that help refugees. Now, more than ever, refugee issues need visibility and political pressure for sustainable solutions”.

“Donate to organisations like Tearfund that are working to help the refugee population all over the globe and specifically Rohingya refugees.”

“Come alongside existing refugees in your community. Consider employing someone from a refugee background. Volunteer at your local resettlement centre. Share a meal with a recently arrived family.”

Medair, a Tearfund partner, is working in the Rohingya Refugee Camps, on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, helping to improve the living conditions of the refugees through health clinics, nutrition clinics and shelter improvement. Tearfund has launched a fresh appeal to help victims of Rohingya Crisis at www.tearfund.org.nz

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