• Crisis Severity ?
    3.0
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    2.8
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    3.3
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    2.7
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    2.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 171,684,000 Total population [?]
  • 1,489,000 People affected [?]
  • 948,000 People displaced [?]
  • 1,487,000 People in Need [?]

Special Reports

30/08/2022

Special Reports

07/06/2022

Special Reports

22/04/2022

Special Reports

07/03/2022

Overview

16/03/2022

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 920,000 Rohingya refugees across 34 camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas (administrative regions). 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. ?

Latest Developments

28/11/2022

On 24 October 2022, cyclone Sitrang crossed the coastal areas of Bangladesh with heavy rainfall, storm surge, and stormy winds. Approximately 1.92 million people in Cox’s Bazar and 30,000 in Bhasan Char were exposed to the cyclone.? In the camps around 250 people were displaced, and 170 shelters were damaged. The existing camp-based response capacity was sufficient to address the damage and needs stemming from the storm.?


Read ACAPS technical note based on experiences from the Rohhingya response: 
'Challenges in analysing needs over time using Multi Sector Needs Assessments (MSNAs)'

Key Concerns

06/12/2022

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.? At the beginning of 2022, Scabies was a major issue in the camps, likely caused by overcrowded living conditions and a lack of access to sufficient water to wash bedding and clothes.? A surge of Dengue fever cases was reported in July 2022, which was not observed in the larger Cox’s Bazar district outside of the Rohingya camps or at the national level.?

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.?

Bhasan Char

06/12/2022

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.?

ACAPS - NPM ANALYSIS HUB

10/03/2021

In December 2017, the ACAPS-NPM Analysis Hub was established in Cox’s Bazar as a collaborative project between ACAPS and IOM’s Needs and Population Monitoring (NPM) unit.

The Hub supports the broader humanitarian response, producing analytical riefs, research, and analysis support, and providing stakeholders with an overview of the situation through updates and thematic products.

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

Learn more about this analysis hub.