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Integral's Response to the Rakhine Displacements

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09 October 2017

Integral Alliance has launched a Disaster Response for the mass displacement of communities from Rakhine State, in Western Myanmar, into Bangladesh. Thirteen Integral Members are responding to this crisis[1], with a further six considering how to support this response.

To date it is estimated that more than 436,000 people have crossed the border into Bangladesh after new violence broke out on 25th August [source here]. Those who have crossed into Bangladesh have often endured an arduous journey, walking for days through jungle and across mountains and rivers. They are now living in overstretched border camps, in makeshift settlements, or with host communities. Urgent humanitarian assistance has been reported as being needed across a wide range of emergency sectors.

Matthew Ellingson, Food for the Hungry’s Director of Response and International Partnerships, reports from Bangladesh, “The conditions here for the hundreds of thousands of refugees are overwhelming. On top of the very serious stresses that people who have been forced to flee from their homes experience, they also have to deal with continuous rains, inadequate sleep, poor hygiene, insufficient food, nutrition and shelter. We also observe that there is a high percentage of unaccompanied children present. There are many factors that make this an extraordinarily complex crisis, and it is excellent that Integral coordination means that we can combine our expertise and resources to help more people in such desperate need.”

Integral Members have been monitoring and sharing information on this crisis since early September, with assessment teams already deployed and very active country level Integral coordination taking place, particularly in Bangladesh. Through the Integral Disaster Response Process, Members are now able to share communications materials, launch appeals, and combine their resources to respond to this crisis.

James McDowell, Medair’s Head of Global Emergency Response Team, says, “I’ve really appreciated the early sharing of information and collaboration among Integral Members as Medair’s emergency team deployed and began assessment. We all bring different strengths and expertise in responding to this crisis and we will continue to look for ways to support each other to reduce suffering and save more lives.”

In the initial stages of an Integral response calls are held as frequently as necessary, so that Members can provide valuable updates in the critical phase when needs are acute. Integral Members will continue to use the Integral online platform to share photos and stories, information and plans with each other.

[1] Food for the Hungry (USA), Medair (Switzerland), Integral (Slovakia), Medical Teams International (USA), Tear Australia, TearFund Switzerland, Tearfund New Zealand, Tearfund (UK), Transform Aid Australia, World Concern (USA), World Renew (USA & Canada).

Integral’s website: www.integralalliance.org 

Contact: Sarah Larkin, Head of Communication and Marketing: s.larkin@integralalliance.org

Extra information: On Integral Collaboration: Integral’s goal is for all its Members to become more effective and efficient in their work and to see greater impact and reach as a result of working collaboratively. Integral Members have a collaborative strategy for responding to disasters, with the Integral Disaster Response Process coordinating the emergency activities of its Members. The aim of the Integral DR process is to combine resources to ensure that as many people as possible are reached with the assistance they need. The Integral Secretariat plays a co-ordinating role to facilitate better communication between all Members in disaster situations with the aim of increasing support and avoiding duplication.

Integral has 23 Members with headquarters in 14 countries. Integral Members work in 88 countries, across 40 sectors, and have a network of over 700 local partners. To watch a short film about Integral Disaster Relief Process click here.

All Members sign up to the Red Cross Code of Conduct and Sphere Standards, and have an agreed Quality Standards Statement.

Integral Members are:

CEDAR Fund - Hong Kong

Food for the Hungry – USA

Integra - Slovakia

International Health Partners – UK

MAP International - USA

Medical Teams International - USA

Medair – Switzerland

Missions Alliance - Norway

Mission East - Denmark

SEL France - France

TEAR Australia – Australia

Tear- Netherlands

Tearfund – Belgium

Tearfund - Ireland

Tearfund – New Zealand

Tear Fund - Switzerland

Tearfund – UK

Transform Aid International – Australia

World Concern - USA

World Relief Canada - Canada

World Relief – USA

World Renew - Canada & USA

ZOA – The Netherlands