1. Situation overview
Since 25 August 2017, an estimated 500 000 Royingya fleeing violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State have crossed the border into Cox’s Bazar in neighbouring Bangladesh. Taking account of the Myanmar nationals who had previously fled to Bangladesh, the total number of Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar is now around 1.2 million.
Although the number of people arriving each day is decreasing, there are unverified reports that large numbers of people are waiting to cross the border. The influx is not expected to stop in the near future: accordingly, humanitarian agencies are planning for a caseload of between 1.0 and 1.2 million displaced in the mid-term, including 300 000 people in host communities.
The humanitarian community is supporting the Government of Bangladesh’s efforts to meet the growing needs of both new and existing Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar. The key concerns include the lack of shelter for new arrivals during the monsoon rains. Most refugees are subsisting on only one meal a day, and have no source of income. Access to drinking water and sanitation facilities are limited and people are reportedly drinking from paddy fields and other unsafe water sources and defecating in the open.
Key public health concerns include communicable diseases, gunshot wounds and burns, and maternal and mental health care. The overcrowding and lack of basic amenities have resulted in increased risks of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases as well as cholera and other water- and vector-borne diseases. There have been a substantial number of reports of gender-based violence.