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News  |  2 October 2017

The H&M Foundation supports Red Cross relief work in Bangladesh and Myanmar

More than 480,000 people have fled Rakhine State in Myanmar in the last weeks, arriving in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh in desperate conditions. The humanitarian crisis in Cox’s Bazar is one of the region’s largest man-made humanitarian crises in decades. Needs are also enormous within Rakhine State. To help saves lives and reduce suffering among those affected by the conflict, both in Myanmar and Bangladesh, the H&M Foundation is donating 200,000 USD to the Red Cross relief effort.
Photo credit: Red Cross

“Many have fled with nothing but the clothes they were wearing and are in need of everything: food, shelter, clean water and health care,” says Carola Tembe at the H&M Foundation. Therefore, it is important for us to support the work of the Red Cross for those affected by the conflict.”

Since August 25, 2017, violence has escalated in the state of Rakhine in Myanmar. Even before the most recent escalation, humanitarian needs were great both in Rakhine and in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar, where refugees from Rakhine have sought shelter for decades. The Myanmar Red Cross and Bangladesh Red Crescent, together with the International Red Cross movement have been on the ground in both areas for many years, providing lifesaving assistance.

“This donation comes at a time when the needs are huge and support is crucial. We are grateful for the H&M Foundation's commitment to helping make our work possible.”

Michaela Friberg Storey, Head of International Operations at the Swedish Red Cross

As the informal settlements and camps swell with the heavy influx of new arrivals, access to shelter, water, sanitation, food and health services are urgent priorities. The Red Cross has mobile healthcare teams reaching hundreds of people every day. A Red Cross field hospital has also just been put in place to serve those fleeing.
There is also a lack of toilets and clean water, leading to an increased risk of outbreaks of communicable diseases. The Red Cross is building latrines and purifying water for the refugees and a team of water and sanitation experts from the Swedish Red Cross are on the ground to provide support.

“This donation comes at a time when the needs are huge and support is crucial. We are grateful for the H&M Foundation’s commitment to helping make our work possible,” says Michaela Friberg Storey, Head of International Operations at the Swedish Red Cross.


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About The Red Cross


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network that reaches 150 million people in 190 National Societies through the work of over 17 million volunteers. Together, we act before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. We do so without discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.


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