Bradford fundraisers support charity appeal to help world's most vulnerable refugees during Covid-19 pandemic

Robina, Deen Mohammed and Mohammed tell ITV reporter Lisa Adlam their concerns

The Rohingya community in Bradford is backing a charity appeal to provide aid to some of the world's largest refugee camps, which are struggling to cope with the pandemic.

Robina, Deen Mohammed and Mohammed were forced to flee persecution in Myanmar to seek sanctuary in the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh. Many of their family members are still in the camp - facing the additional threat of coronavirus.

They are now working with the Arakan Rohingya Organisation in Bradford, urging people to think of those whose lives have already been devastated by war and famine - for whom the virus now poses a very real and deadly new threat.

Robina, Deen Mohammed and Mohammed Credit: ITV Calendar

They are concerned about those living in crowded refugee and displacement camps with little access to medical care, clean water or enough food, making them extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. In these places, the virus is likely to be even more deadly than it has been here. 

This is the reality for people living in tents and makeshift shelters without running water or soap, in places like the Cox's Bazaar Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh.

What is the appeal?

The DEC Coronavirus Appeal was launched on Tuesday 14 July to raise funds to help the most vulnerable communities in the world fleeing from conflict and instability, who now face the new deadly threat of Covid-19.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh. Credit: AP

Saleh Saeed, DEC Chief Executive, said: “We are very fortunate here to have an incredible National Health Service which has cared for those who have fallen ill. The money so generously donated to the DEC appeal will help people in countries where there is no NHS; families who have fled conflict and hunger – and who are now living in overcrowded refugee and displacement camps with few hospital beds or medical supplies.”

The DEC Appeal aims to protect people from the virus in the world’s five most fragile states (Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo) plus Afghanistan, the most fragile state in Asia, and the world’s largest refugee camp, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

How can I help?

Six hundred thousand refugees are children. Credit: Arakan Rohingya Organisation

So far, £769 million in UK aid has been pledged globally to fight the pandemic, according to the Department for International Development.

Among the DEC’s 14 members are ActionAid UK, Age International, the British Red Cross, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Oxfam GB and Save the Children UK.

Those wishing to donate can do so online at, by phone on 0370 60 60 900, or text SUPPORT to 70150 to donate £10.