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Bangladesh: Humanitarian Response Plan - September 2017 / February 2018 - Rohingya Refugee Crisis [AR/EN]


Violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, which began on 25 August 2017 has driven an estimated 509,000 Rohingya across the border into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. That day, insurgents attacked army and police posts in Rakhine, resulting in widespread violence, mass displacement of civilians and the suspension of most aid activities. In the following days, people began to flee across the border into Bangladesh.

By 30 September, more than 509,000 people were estimated to have crossed into Bangladesh, joining some 300,000 that had fled in earlier waves of displacement. Those fleeing are concentrated in two upazilas; Ukhia and Teknaf, putting an immense strain on infrastructure, services and the host population. Pre-existing settlements and camps have expanded with the new influx, while new spontaneous settlements have also formed and are quickly growing. Significant numbers of new arrivals are also being absorbed into the local host community. As of 30 September, there were two formal refugee camps, four makeshift settlements and five new spontaneous sites, some of which are merging together as settlement expands. Along the border regions of Bandarban and Cox’s Bazar, an estimated 18,700 people have settled in groups in or near no man’s land, presenting additional challenges with legal and security dimensions.

The Rohingya refugee population in Cox’s Bazar tripled over two weeks and continues to grow. The speed and scale of the influx has resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency: without rapid, comprehensive response, there will be massive loss of life. The people who have arrived in Bangladesh since 25 August came with very few possessions. They have used the majority of their savings on transportation and constructing a shelter, often out of no more than bamboo and thin plastic. They are now reliant on humanitarian assistance for food, and other life-saving needs. Basic services that were available prior to the influx are under severe strain due to the massive increase in population. In some of the sites that have spontaneously emerged, there is no access to water and sanitation facilities. Combined with increasing population density, there is high risk of an outbreak of disease. The Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar is highly vulnerable, having fled conflict and experienced severe trauma, and now living in extremely difficult conditions.

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
Inter Sector Coordination Group - Bangladesh
Original Publication Date: 
03 Oct 2017
Document type: 
Strategic Response Plan
Refugees and Returnees
Strategic Planning
Coordination hub(s): 
Cox's Bazar
Bangladesh: Rohingya Refugee Crisis 2017-2020