What would you pack to survive?

If you suddenly had to leave your home, what would you pack to survive? Your mobile phone? A toothbrush? Some clothes? A water bottle? Who would you bring with you? 

 

Every two seconds, someone in the world is forced to flee their home – with no survival pack.

 

They don’t have time to pack a bag or wait for loved ones – many leave with just the clothes on their backs. 

 

There are now 68.5 million people on the move worldwide, the highest number ever recorded by the United Nations. Nearly 25.4 million of them are refugees and over half are children under the age of 18.

 

These men, women and children fleeing conflict, disaster and poverty are forced to leave everything behind, often to be refused sanctuary elsewhere. 

 

Over one million Rohingya people have escaped unimaginable atrocities in Myanmar and are now living in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh. After seven years of conflict in Syria, more than half of the population – nearly 12 million people – have fled their homes. The world’s largest humanitarian crisis is now in Yemen, where 82% of the population needs emergency assistance and over three million are on the move.

 

Behind these statistics are the men, women and children who have lost their homes, livelihoods, relatives and friends and have been forced to make treacherous journeys to find safety and dignity.

Shompa* (20) holds her daughter Iffat*in their tent in Balukhali refugee camp in Bangladesh.

Shompa* from Myanmar was six months pregnant when her village was attacked, and she was forced to flee with her family, friends and neighbours.

 

They fled on foot, walking for nine days. Tragically, they came under attack as they ran and some of her neighbours were killed.

 

“I was so afraid for my baby. I worried that I would give birth too soon.”

 

Shompa* eventually made it to a refugee camp in Bangladesh, where she was reunited with her husband. She gave birth to a baby girl in safety two months later.  

 

Shompa* is adjusting to her new life in Bangladesh and is already planning for her family’s future.

 

“We left home with nothing. Our daughter is the most important thing we have now. She means more to me than wealth, more than property or any other riches. Unless things change, it is safer for her to grow up here in Bangladesh.


*Names changed to protect identities

 

Will you stand with the millions of people forced to flee with no survival pack?

Since 2016, over 61,000 people across the island of Ireland have added their support to our Right to Refuge campaign, calling on governments and decision-makers to do more to protect people struggling to survive unimaginable humanitarian crises.

 

Together we’ve achieved amazing things – from taking the call of Right to Refuge supporters to the UN’s first-ever summit on refugees and migrants, to seeing a Bill passed in the Seanad (Irish Senate) that will make it easier for refugee families to stay together.

 

By joining the campaign, supporters have called on governments and decision-makers to ensure that those affected by conflict, disaster and poverty are welcomed, protected and have access to essentials like water, food and shelter.

 

Because everyone deserves to live in safety and dignity.

Oxfam in Greece: refugee children's paintings
Oxfam are providing child friendly spaces for children seeking refuge in Greece Photo: Oxfam

Oxfam’s work with refugees and migrants

As well as campaigning for the rights of refugees and migrants, we are on the ground in times of crisis. We provide life-saving clean water, sanitation and food as well as shelter, blankets and stoves – basics that mean the world to families who have lost everything.

 

We work in countries where refugees need us most, including Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as well as in neighbouring countries which host the majority of refugees, like Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. We are also supporting people displaced within their own countries, like the Central African Republic.

 

We’re working to protect and support people forced to flee. Will you help us?