Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)3.00 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.2.80 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.3.30 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.2.60 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.2.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
Bangladesh has received successive waves of Rohingya refugees since 1978, most of whom have returned to Myanmar following bilateral negotiations. The most recent influx occurred in September 2017, when more than 700,000 Rohingya crossed the border into Bangladesh after fleeing a military campaign in Rakhine state. To date, there has been no agreement on returns.?
Cox’s Bazar now hosts more than 950,000 Rohingya refugees across 34 camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas (administrative regions) and Bhasan Char Island in Hatiya upazila. Bangladesh is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, and the Rohingya are registered as ‘forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals’ rather than as refugees. While the Government of Bangladesh has kept borders open, refugees continue to lack formal legal status, face extreme restrictions on movement, and are not permitted to legally work.?
This has left the Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar in a protracted crisis and entirely dependent on humanitarian assistance. Camp conditions are marked by insecurity, congestion and lack of privacy, and inadequate sanitation facilities and water infrastructure. Most Rohingya households engage in high-risk coping strategies to meet their basic needs, such as selling or rationing aid or taking on additional debt. This is particularly true for women-headed households, households without access to income-generating activities, larger households (more than ten members), and those with elderly, chronically ill, or disabled family members. COVID-19 containment and risk mitigation measures have increased the number of refugee households employing emergency coping strategies, such as selling labour in advance, spending savings, or reducing non-essential food expenditure. The long-term impact of these restrictions remains to be seen.?
During the monsoon season between May to September, humanitarian conditions deteriorate significantly. Cox’s Bazar is extremely prone to flooding and landslides because of its rugged and hilly terrain. ?
No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.
Health: In 2021, Rohingyas expressed that the main barrier to accessing health services is overcrowding of facilities. Other factors for the reluctance of the Rohingya communities to seek healthcare were the perception of not getting the required service or medicine, mistreatment from health workers, and a general mistrust of health clinics. These changes led to more households incurring extra costs as they sought treatment in private clinics and bought medicine from pharmacies or other sources.?
Food security: Food prices have been continuously on the rise in the markets and rations distributed in the camps have become smaller and less varied. Many Rohingya continue to be unable to afford food items such as meat, fresh fruit, and fish. Others sell oil, sugar, and lentils to buy products for a more varied diet,? but with the limited food assistance, this possibility is likely decreasing.
Access to livelihoods and employment: The income-generating activities decreased and with that the Rohingya refugees’ ability to meet their daily needs. Humanitarian-led income-generating activities, including the possibility of Rohingya volunteering with NGOs and cash-for-work programs, as well as the movement of Rohingya out of the camps and seeking employment opportunities, are limited.?
Protection: The reduction in both income and the presence of humanitarian actors in the camps has reportedly led to a spike in criminal activity and concerns over safety. Criminal activities, drug dealings, and theft cases have risen and there is a feeling of insecurity amongst camp residents.?
Education: After COVID-19-related school closures had been lifted, access to education has improved but remains difficult because of the perceived lack of quality of education for Rohingya children provided in learning centers.? A pilot of the Myanmar curriculum is currently being implemented in the camps. According to UNICEF, the curriculum had reached 10,000 children by May 2022.?
WASH: WASH needs in the camps remain high. Challenges persist such as in the access to sufficient water, the provision of toilet facilities, or for women in obtaining adequate menstrual hygiene items.?
The Government of Bangladesh plans to relocate up to 100,000 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char Island. According to Bangladeshi authorities, the relocation is necessary because of overcrowding, tensions between refugees and host communities, and gang-related violence in the Cox’s Bazar camps.?
In May 2020, the first 300 Rohingya refugees were relocated to the island. After several phases of relocation since, about 27,000 Rohingya are now living on the island, 80% of them women and children.?
Collecting data: in the Rohingya camps in the Cox's Bazar
Data collection in humanitarian response is based on established standards, guidelines, and good practices that have evolved over time. While these practices give a general structure for data collection processes, they need to be adaptable to any specific response context. This learning document highlights the lessons learnt from five years of data collection in the Rohingya camps in the form of assessments, monitoring, and evaluation activities whether rapid or comprehensive, sectoral or multisectoral, joint or standalone, and other types of studies. This document aims to help adapt data collection processes to the Rohingya response in Cox’s Bazar based on collated experiences and learning. The methods used to collect data include surveys, group discussions (GDs) including focus group discussions, interviews including key informant interviews (KIIs), and direct observations. The terms ‘data collectors’ and ‘participants’ or ‘respondents’ are used for the main stakeholders involved in data collection exercises.