Rohingya Refugee Crisis
Since late August 2017, nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar, where they are a stateless Muslim minority. The vast majority of Rohingya refugees reaching Bangladesh are women and children, including newborn babies. Many others are elderly people requiring additional aid and protection.
They have walked for days through jungles and mountains, or brave dangerous sea voyages across the Bay of Bengal. As they arrive exhausted, hungry, sick and in need of protection, UNHCR has been on the ground in Bangladesh leading the emergency response efforts by distributing urgently-needed supplies such as tents, blankets, sleeping mats and solar lamps.
With monsoon and cyclone season approaching, thousands of refugees will face grave risk of landslides, floods and waterborne diseases. To lessen the risk of waterborne and airborne diseases, refugees and host communities urgently need more clean water, health care and other supplies. Pregnant women, young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable.
thousand Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017
thousand people are at risk of landslides and flooding
million USD are needed to fund UNHCR’s 2018 emergency response in Bangladesh
What is UNHCR doing to help Rohingya refugees?
UNHCR is leading the emergency response in two camps for Rohingya refugees, Kutupalong and Nayapara, where we are providing life-saving assistance and protection to the refugees, in close collaboration with partners and authorities.
We are providing emergency shelter in many forms and wherever available, ranging from plastic sheeting to temporary bamboo sheds to common buildings, such as schools, being used as temporary shelters.
By mid-October, UNHCR had airlifted to Bangladesh some 700 metric tonnes of life-saving aid, including tents, plastic sheets, blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen sets and jerry cans. Furthers airlifts are planned.
Together with our partners, we are also helping the government to develop Kutupalong Extension, a new site near the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp. This includes funding a road to facilitate construction and refugee access, supporting site planning, building latrines and wells, improving the water and sanitation facilities and distributing shelter materials.
We continue to identify the most vulnerable new arrivals, such as unaccompanied children, pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled. Our protection staff are working to establish child-friendly spaces and to prevent sexual and gender-based violence.
"Almost 600,000 people have fled, that's the equivalent of half of Calgary."
UNHCR Canada Representative Jean-Nicolas Beuze joined the National Observer to speak about the scale of the Rohingya crisis.
Send urgent relief to Rohingya refugee families in need
UNHCR urgently needs 238.8 million USD to respond to massive humanitarian needs in Bangladesh in 2018. Much more needs to be done to meet the acute needs of children, women and men fleeing conflict.