Read caption August, 2018: A man carries firewood in the outskirts of the mega camp hosting almost 900,000 Rohingya refugees in the Cox's Bazar area of Bangladesh. Work is ongoing to expand the camp and move refugees from unsafe, hilly areas prone to landslides to safer areas. Photo: Ingebjørg Kårstad/Norwegian Refugee Council.

NRC in Bangladesh

NRC Bangladesh|Published 04. Mar 2019
Between August 2017 and December 2018, over 700,000 people fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh. They joined over 200,000 Rohingya already living in Cox’s Bazar, displaced by earlier waves of violence in Rakhine.

Humanitarian overview 

Members of the Rohingya ethnic group are often referred to as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. An estimated 905,000 Rohingya refugees currently reside in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, over 700,000 of whom fled extreme violence in Myanmar in late 2017. Considered stateless, the Rohingya now make their homes in one of the most congested refugee camps in the world, living in bamboo shelters perched precariously on land that is prone to flooding and landslides. Access to basic services, including adequate sanitation, healthcare, livelihoods and education, is limited.

The refugees have also put an immense strain on the half a million Bangladeshis living in Cox’s Bazar. The presence of the camp has led to large scale deforestation of a former wildlife preserve and has detrimentally impacted the ability of farmers to cultivate land. Despite these challenges, these Bangladeshi communities were the first to respond when the Rohingya arrived and continue to generously host the refugees - at least 336,000 members of these communities are now also in need of support.

​NRC’s operation 

We carried out our first activities in northern Bangladesh in 2016 through a partnership with local NGO RDRS. We have since scaled up our presence, obtaining legal registration in November 2018, which will allow us to better respond to the Rohingya influx. Alongside our local partners, we provide assistance to refugees and local communities through education and ICLA activities. Once our country office is well established, we plan to expand our operations and are considering activities around shelter and climate displacement.

NRC EducationEducation

Alongside our partners, we are working with the Rohingya people and the host communities to provide children and youth with quality education through:

  • Teacher trainings on psychosocial support, health and hygiene, and disaster risk management that support the well-being and safety of children.
  • Life skills sessions that help youth and adolescents avoid threats and reduce their protection risks.
  • Technical training and entrepreneurial start-up grants to help youth generate income for themselves and their families.

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

Alongside our partners, we work to provide Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) by:

  • Researching the impacts of the refugee crisis on the Rohingya and the communities hosting them.
  • Facilitating trainings for local and international actors on collaborative dispute resolution mechanisms.
NRC Bangladesh is grateful for the generous support from our donors:
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

About NRC in Bangladesh

Budget 2019
USD 25 million
International staff
Area of operation
Dhaka (country office) and Cox’s Bazar District
National staff

Contact info

Country Director

Shaun Scales