On 22 March, 2021, a devastating fire broke out in three Rohingya refugee camps in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar, resulting in the deaths of 11 refugees and leaving 10,100 households without shelter. For detailed information on the fire and the humanitarian response, led by the Government of Bangladesh, refer to the joint humanitarian sitreps on the Humanitarian Response Bangladesh website.
COVID-19 cases in Cox’s Bazar District continued to rise during March. By 28 March1 , 32 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases had been identified in the Rohingya refugee camps, with no new deaths reported. Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Bangladesh last year, the total confirmed cases in the camps is 438, with 10 deaths. 421 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases of Bangladeshis in Cox’s Bazar District were identified in March, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the District to 6,014, with 73 deaths.2
13 Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Isolation and Treatment Centres (SARI ITCs) with 502 functional beds were operational in the camps, with an additional 400 beds on standby. The bed occupancy rate in March was 20 percent, with admissions primarily from the host community.
678,503 individuals were reached with hygiene promotion activities.
44,093 sets of educational books were distributed to children in 30 camps (21,606 girls and 22,487 boys).
5,280 handwashing facilities installed in the camps and host communities to help maintain hygiene during COVID-19.
SPOTLIGHT ON: EMERGENCY RESPONSE TO 22 MARCH FIRE
On 22 March, 2021, a devastating fire broke out in three Rohingya refugee camps in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar resulting in the deaths of 11 refugees and leaving 10,100 households without shelter. The fire quickly spread across camps 8E, 8W and 9, consuming shelters and personal belongings of refugees and burning down essential facilities such as hospitals, primary health facilities, learning centres, and women-friendly spaces in the camps.
Immediately following the fire, aid agencies and the Government of Bangladesh worked together to meet the immediate needs of the 48,300 individuals who lost their homes and personal belongings.
By the end of March, five mobile medical teams were deployed to help the injured and sick, more than 800,000 cooked meals were distributed to affected households, 300 emergency latrines were installed, and emergency shelter kits were distributed to all households affected by the fire. Over 300 personnel were deployed to the camps to provide mental health and psychosocial services to affected Rohingya refugees and frontline workers.
Registration teams began work to re-issue refugee identity documentation that was destroyed in the fire. For more information on the fire response, please click here.