Rohingya refugees fled violence in Myanmar at a staggering rate in 2017 – and the numbers keep growing.
At the peak of the crisis, thousands were crossing into Bangladesh daily. Most walked for days through jungles and mountains, or braved dangerous sea voyages across the Bay of Bengal. They arrived exhausted, hungry and sick – in need of international protection and humanitarian assistance.
refugees have fled to Bangladesh since 25 August 2017
As of 31 July 2019
Over a million Rohingya refugees have fled violence in Myanmar in successive waves of displacement since the early 1990s. Follow the crisis here.
The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar. The latest exodus began on 25 August 2017, when violence broke out in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, driving more than 742,000 to seek refuge in Bangladesh. Most arrived in the first three months of the crisis. An estimated 12,000 reached Bangladesh during the first half of 2018. The vast majority reaching Bangladesh are women and children, and more than 40 per cent are under age 12. Many others are elderly people requiring additional aid and protection. They have nothing and need everything.
Nearly all who arrived during the influx have sought shelter in and around the refugee settlements of Kutupalong and Nayapara in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district. Some have joined relatives there. The enormous scale of the influx is putting immense pressure on the Bangladeshi host community and existing facilities and services.
New spontaneous settlements sprouted overnight, raising concerns over the lack of adequate shelter, water and sanitation, access to basic services, and general protection considerations such as safety for women and girls. The Kutupalong refugee settlement has grown to become the largest of its kind in the world, with more than 600,000 people living in an area of just 13 square kilometres, stretching infrastructure and services to their limits.
The Bangladesh government has responded generously throughout the latest crisis. Local Bangladeshi villages have also taken in the new arrivals. They spared no effort to help, straining their already limited resources.
The humanitarian response in Bangladesh remains focused on meeting the massive humanitarian needs and on mitigating the impact of the seasonal monsoon rains. However, additional international support is urgently needed to step up the assistance from purely humanitarian and day-to-day support towards addressing medium-term challenges, including resilience, education, registration, and programmes to protect the most vulnerable refugees – including children, women and persons with specific needs.