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Cox’s Bazar: Upazila Profiles (September 2020)

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Purpose of report

Three years into the Rohingya response, there remains a lack of detailed information on the communities of Cox’s Bazar district and their needs. Most information that does exist is limited to the communities bordering the Rohingya camps. The global spread of COVID -19 has expanded the definition of “host community” for humanitarians to include all upazilas in the district.

This review considers all eight upazilas of Cox’s Bazar. There has been a longstanding lack of investment in the district, particularly in remote upazilas like Ramu, Maheshkhali, Pekua, and Kutubdia. 2011 census data indicates a presence of health, food security and livelihood needs in these areas.

These upazila profiles provide contextual background on the Bangladeshi population in Cox’s Bazar district, in relation to the Rohingya population where appropriate, and highlight key information gaps. The profiles seek to provide a better understanding of the risks and vulnerabilities faced by Bangladeshi communities and to strengthen programming within Cox’s Bazar. They are not intended to measure the level of response.

Key Considerations

  • Development, humanitarian, and other operational actors should avoid using the same criteria to compare crisis impacts between the Rohingya population and the host communities. Both populations experience shocks differently and baseline information pre -COVID -19 is not comparable.

  • It should not be assumed that coping mechanisms used in Cox’s Bazar are the same as those across the country. Further research on how coping mechanisms differ to those used elsewhere in Bangladesh should be conducted.

  • Socio-economic research across the district is not widely accessible. Dedicated research is recommended to further understand the coping mechanisms of vulnerable and/or remote populations, and to supplement existing evidence base to inform response from the government, humanitarian, and development partners in Cox’s Bazar.

  • Sex, age, disability, and other diversity disaggregated data must be included in all planning and strategy documents and situation reports to ensure the needs of different groups are analysed and addressed.