A total of
people in need received our assistance in 2018.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
About NRC in Bangladesh
Calling for a durable and inclusive response two years after the Rohingya mass exodus
In the days following August 25, 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees fled their homes in Myanmar for Bangladesh. In the two years since, continued efforts to protect the Rohingya community from climate hazards in overcrowded camps have resulted in a prolonged emergency response. Now, affected communities must be included to secure durable solutions.