Since late August, more than half a million Rohingya refugees — and counting — have fled violence and persection in Rakhine State, Myanmar. Refugees continue to arrive on a daily basis with more than 11,000 reported to have arrived in Cox’s Bazar on 9 October alone — making this the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world. The influx of refugees has put tremendous strain on the host communities. The government of Bangladesh, as well the UN and partner agencies, are working hard to scale-up the response and avoid an “emergency within an emergency” as the risk of disease outbreak and malnutrition increases.
Total People In Need
Total Rohingya in Bangladesh
Breakdown of People in Need
Where New Arrivals Are
arrivals in host communities
arrivals in new spontenous settlements
arrivals in makeshift settlements/refugee camps
Refugee Arrivals 25 Aug. to Present
Source: Rohingya Refugee Crisis response. * Some 300k refugees were estimated to be in Cox’s Bazar prior to the August influx, new arrivals indicate the estimated total since 25 August.
Video: An Overview of the Rohingya Refugee Crisis
This is a refugee crisis that calls for a comprehensive and coordinated international response. The United Nations and our partners are working closely with the Government of Bangladesh to scale up and coordinate the response so as to ensure that refugees are protected in line with international standards, and to provide desperately needed support including food, shelter, health care and water.
Photo: UNICEF / Brown
The new stateless refugees in Bangladesh are in a desperate condition — many have made long journeys, fled with few to no belongings, and have been subjected to extreme violence and sexual assault.
The majority of newly arrived refugees are living in sites that have emerged since the most recent crisis began. These sites have very limited access to life-saving services and have severely restricted access due to their remote location, lack of roads, and over-crowding. Partners are working closely with the Government of Bangladesh to improve conditions in and access to these sites, including laying new roads and establishing basic infrastructure.
GROWTH OF REFUGEE SETTLEMENTS IN COX’S BAZAR, BANGLADESH
Sources: IOM, UNHCR, Logistics cluster, UN Geographic Information Section
FILM: URGENT NEED FOR ADDITIONAL SUPPORT
Scaling up the humanitarian response requires adoption of a twin-track approach of meeting the immediate needs as well as the mid to longer term support. Immediate response: working closely with the Government of Bangladesh and military to provide a blanket distribution of immediate life-saving and life-sustaining assistance to meet basic needs in the areas of WASH, Health, Food (including Nutrition), Shelter, and Protection, targeting new arrivals and the most vulnerable where possible. to identify and meet their special needs. At the same time, assistance is required for host communities facing tremendous strain with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of people.
Photo: UNHCR / Arnold
Children have witnessed their parents’ deaths and are now left to fend for their even younger siblings. In addition to safety, the refugees urgently need food, water, shelter, health care and psychosocial support, among other services. Nearly 60 per cent of new arrivals are children.
Funding A Scaled Response
Assistance programmes are already having an impact. However, with the influx continuing and needs intensifying, much more needs to be done. The international community must support Bangladesh by securing funding for the response in a timely and adequate manner. This is is critical to save lives, protect the vulnerable and avoid potential secondary crises like disease outbreaks. Donors are urged to pledge generously to achieve full financial coverage of the plan through February 2018.
While immediate needs are being met, a long-term vision should be at the heart of the response from the onset. It is of utmost urgency that the authorities in Myanmar with support from the international community and countries in the region address the root causes of the crisis so that people are no longer compelled to flee and can return home in safety and dignity.