• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 143,232,000 Total population [?]
  • 1,387,000 People affected [?]
  • 915,000 People displaced [?]
  • 915,000 People in Need [?]

Special Reports


Special Reports




Bangladesh has been a country of refuge for Rohingyas fleeing violence in Myanmar on numerous occasions since 1978.? Since the latest violent episode of August 2017, some 741,577 Rohingya refugees have crossed the border from Rakhine state. As of 15 May 2019, there were 910,619 refugees living in 35 sites in Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-districts of Cox’s Bazar.? 

Bangladesh is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, and Rohingyas are registered as ‘Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals’. While the Government of Bangladesh has kept the borders open for refugees, there remain important gaps in assistance: refugees are officially not allowed to leave the camps, they are not permitted to work legally, and Rohingya youth are prevented from accessing quality education.? According to the Acaps Basic Needs Gap Index, some 32% of the refugee population in 34 location of Cox’s Bazar have either high or very high gaps in meeting their basic humanitarian needs.? 

The plan of the Government of Bangladesh to relocate some 100,000 Rohingyas from Cox’s Bazar to Bashan Char Island (also named Thengar Char) remains a cause for concern. Bangladeshi authorities have stated multiple times that relocation will be voluntary. However, the relocation plan has not gained traction with camp residents, as the island is particularly prone to flooding, and isolated from the mainland.? 

Latest Developments


13/02/2020: At least 15 Rohingya refugees have drowned and dozens remain missing after a small boat carrying 130 people capsized in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Bangladesh. The refugees were primarily from the camps in Cox's Bazar and were attempting to get to Malaysia. Reports indicate that it was one of two vessels making the journey, though there is no sign of the second boat. Malaysia is a common destination for Rohingya refugees trying to escape crowded camp conditions in Bangladesh since has a large Rohingya diaspora of approximately 100,000 people. There is no information indicating the exact number of crossings or attempted crossings made by Rohingya, however, approximately 1,600 left Bangladesh and Myanmar via the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea between January 2018 and June 2019. Crossings often increase during the period from November to March when the sea is safest for the small fishing boats used as transport.?

31/01/2020: The Bangladesh government has announced it will offer formal schooling for Rohingya refugee children up to the age of 14 and skills training for those older than 14. A pilot program will begin with 10,000 students, though the timeline remains unclear. Lessons will be taught using Myanmar curriculum, which the government and UNICEF are designing. There are 400,000 school-aged children living in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.?

Humanitarian Access


High Constraints

The government of Bangladesh does not legally recognise Rohingyas as refugees and currently confines them to segregated areas in Cox’s Bazar district. Curfews and temporary shutdowns of communication lines have affected the camps, where different groups, some of which armed, are vying for control with reported episodes of violence. Tensions between refugees and the Bangladeshi authorities followed the repeated announcement of repatriation plans. Refugees’ freedom of movement and access to services has always been restricted. The monsoon season caused physical constraints in the form of road blockages and infrastructural damage. NGOs continue facing difficulties in the registration process.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.



ACAPS is collaborating with IOM’s Needs and Population Monitoring (NPM) project since December 2017, and have established an Analysis Hub in Cox’s Bazar. The Hub supports operational actors by producing analytical briefs, and provides stakeholders with an overview of the situation through regular updates and specialized thematic products. 

Learn more about the ACAPS - NPM Analysis Hub.

If you are interested in the reports produced by the hub, please subscribe to the ACAPS Cox's Bazar mailing list.

Key Priorities


Livelihoods: Refugees lack formal access to income-generating opportunities, which creates needs across sectors because refugees will resort to negative coping mechanisms, such as selling a portion of theie humanitarian assistance to meet other needs such as paying for medical treatment or purchasing additional food.?

Protection: Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh lack formal status, having neither citizenship or refugee status. This allows them to be subjected to extreme restrictions on movement, communication, and access to basic services such as education, employment, legal assistance.?

Health: Refugee camps in Bangladesh have seen a high number of measles cases since Sept 2019. The total number of measles cases reported in 2020 alone has surpassed 1,500. Measles Outbreak Response Immunization is ongoing since early 2020 and is targeting children between 6 months and 10 years of age. ?

Education: The Government of Bangladesh does not allow formal education for Rohingya refugees. Learning facilities are ad-hoc, lack structured curriculum, and there is a lack of trust toward unfamiliar teaching approaches found in humanitarian education facilities. These factors have resulted in low enrolment in Cox’s Bazar, where 39% of Rohingya children aged 3-14 and 97% of youth aged 15-24 are not attending school.?