There’s a new city in Bangladesh.
From above, it’s a maze of bamboo and plastic shelters balancing precariously on rolling hills. On the ground, it’s a bustling sanctuary for almost a million Rohingya refugees - every single one touched by a story of burning villages, murdered family members, unspeakable violence or lost homes.
This new city is not a good place to grow up. Most of the refugees are children and UNICEF is working every day to make sure they can all survive, learn and play.
Our job is about to get a lot harder.
Rohingya children and families who have fled extreme violence are now facing a new danger: a looming natural disaster. Cyclone and monsoon seasons are approaching and UNICEF is bracing for an emergency. The deadliest cyclone ever recorded was here in Bangladesh – ripping through the country in 1970 and claiming as many as 500,000 lives.
If disaster strikes now, this new city could be devastated – wiping out the following treasures which children just can’t afford to lose.
New homes built with determination and love
It’s not his dream home but Bodiuzzaman built this shelter with his own hands.
His eldest daughter was killed as they fled Myanmar and now this Rohingya father is determined to protect his remaining children from other dangers. “In Myanmar they were shooting everywhere,” he says. “After building this house I feel peace in my heart.”
Building for his baby | UNICEF Australia
Like most refugees, Bodiuzzaman’s new home is made out of mud, bamboo poles, tarpaulin, plastic bags – whatever his family could find or collect at the end of their perilous journey from Myanmar. It’s an impressive effort but this shelter won’t keep them safe from floods, landslides or the blistering winds of a cyclone.
Parents like Bodiuzzaman are determined to protect their children from the coming storms and defend the only places they have to call home.
Rooms full of music and laughter
In the middle of these chaotic camps, UNICEF helps to create the rarest of things: a peaceful space for children to learn, play, sing, dance and draw.
If monsoonal winds and rains topple these child-friendly spaces, children won’t just lose their toys and books. Play is the perfect way for children to make friends and start to recover from violence and displacement. Learning centres are a chance to feel normal in the hectic bustle of the world’s largest refugee settlement.
We can’t stop the rains but we will do everything possible to keep children in class. UNICEF is reinforcing these precious spaces and stocking mobile centres that we can operate from a safe, dry place. We’re prepared and efficient – it takes just $4 for us to buy learning materials for a child – but with over 200 learning centres at risk, we urgently need help to buy supplies. Every day a child is out of class leaves them at risk of falling behind or dropping out or becoming vulnerable to child labour or other exploitation.
Donate Where the Need is Greatest
Help us keep children safe and in school through rain, hail or disaster with an urgent donation.
The joy of a clean, gushing water supply
In monsoon and cyclone season, there’s bad water and good water.
Bad water carries diseases from flooded toilets into walkways, homes and fresh water sources. Bad water makes a child’s every sip or trip to the bathroom a serious risk. Bad water spreads diseases like cholera that can kill a child within hours.
Good water is life.
UNICEF is helping deliver the 22 million litres of good water that people in the camps need to survive everyday. That’s 10 Olympic-sized pools of clean, gushing, reliable water every single day.
Now all of this is at risk. Floods and landslides could destroy or contaminate half of existing water points in the camps and turn a bad situation into a catastrophe.
We know how to save lives in crisis. With your help, we can:
Truck in millions of litres of water every day
Vaccinate 1.1 million people to prevent a cholera outbreak
Deliver water purification tablets to help families treat their drinking water.
Help UNICEF to keep these treasures safe
UNICEF is racing to prepare for the storms. We’re rapidly working to prevent landslides, floods, cyclones and cholera from threatening children’s lives. Donate now to keep children safe and dry.
We’re giving children waterproof wristbands to trace their families if they get lost in the chaos. We’re vaccinating nearly a million people against cholera and we’re trucking in clean water on an incredible scale.
If we act together and act now, we can make sure a natural disaster doesn’t take hundreds of young lives. Donate today and keep children safe.
Donate Where the Need is Greatest
Help UNICEF to be there for children wherever the need is greatest, no matter what.
Stay up-to-date on UNICEF's work in Australia and around the world
29 Nov 2023
How a teacher’s disability inspired a school of inclusivity
Access to education is the first step to a brighter future for children living with disability in Papua New Guinea.
15 Nov 2023
Childhood homes lost in a changing climate
Through no fault of their own, children and their families are being forced to leave the familiarity of their homes in search of food, water, and security.
4 Oct 2023
How UNICEF is supporting children in Armenia
Following the escalation of hostilities and the challenges of sudden displacement, children in Armenia need immediate access to humanitarian services.
27 Aug 2023
Meet Tony, a dad from Vanuatu who did all he could when his newborn twins were in crisis.
14 Aug 2023
Three innovative ways UNICEF is taking climate action
Three innovative ways you are ensuring children inherit a greener planet where they can reach their full potential
6 Aug 2023
Burundi: the country where young people are leading climate action
From rocket stoves to sustainable agriculture, young people are shaping futures for the next generation
4 Aug 2023
In photos: six months of rebuilding lives in Türkiye and Syria
It has been six months since the deadly earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria devastated children and families. See their journey from heartbreak to hope thanks to the ongoing support of people like you.
4 Aug 2023
Aussie artist Ken Done has spent the past 35 years as a UNICEF Ambassador
Ken Done is the kind of guy that can put a smile on anyone’s face. He’s warm, funny and a world-renowned artist, hailing from Sydney’s North Shore.
27 July 2023
Meet three Team UNICEF City2Surf superstars
Our supporters are lacing their sneakers and hitting the ground running for City2Surf in support of children worldwide.
23 July 2023
How birth certificates can unlock education for Aussie kids
Registering a birth is more important than ever.
23 July 2023
100 days of healing for the children of Sudan
As the conflict in Sudan con, UNICEF is working tirelesslessly to protect the children caught in the middle of the devastating crisis.