Since 25 August 2017, over 680,000 Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh from Rakhine state, Myanmar. The rate of new arrivals has slowed as of December 2017. The new arrivals join an already existing population of over 210,000 Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar. The majority of Rohingya refugees are located in settlements in Teknaf and Ukhia upazilas. The largest such settlement, the Kutupalong–Balukhali expansion, hosts over 580,000 people.
Humanitarian efforts have been scaled up since the start of the influx, however needs remain high. Cox’s Bazar is a disaster prone area, having been hit by three cyclones for the past three years. The monsoon rains are expected to exacerbate needs in the unsanitary settlements.
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. This Analysis Hub supports operational actors in providing analytical briefs, by looking at primary data, conducting secondary data review, and discussing with key stakeholders on different themes. The Hub provides stakeholders with an overview of the situation through regular updates and specialised thematic products. Regular updates come in the form of an ACAPS-designed overview product and through other products that will be a combination of stakeholder requests and initiations of the Hub.
ACAPS continues to collaborate with IOM to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the Rohingya population.
A new series of reports, "COVID-19 EXPLAINED", based on focus group discussions and key informant interviews with Rohingya living across Ukhia and Teknaf Camps, has been launched in March 2020. The objective of these consultations is to ensure Rohingya’s voices are included in all stages of the COVID-19 response and provide an avenue for Rohingya refugees to express their questions and concerns. COVID-19 Explained aims to provide decision makers with an understanding of the current perceptions, understanding and information being circulated about COVID-19 among Rohingya within the camps and inform programming decisions that are being made in preparation for a potential COVID-19 outbreak. These consultations will also feed into messaging and outreach strategies designed and implemented by IOM and other humanitarian response agencies.