August 2020 marked three years since the mass exodus of Rohingya refugees to Cox’s Bazar when over 745,000 people, including more than 400,000 children, fled persecution in Myanmar. As of September 2020, over 860,000 Rohingya refugees—almost double the Bangladeshi host community population—reside across 34 camps. This includes almost 600,000 refugees in the Kutupalong mega camp, the largest refugee camp in the world.
Although the situation has stabilized and all refugees continue to receive humanitarian assistance, they still face major challenges, particularly the lack of regular income and livelihood opportunities. Pre-COVID-19 in late 2019, 94 percent of all Rohingya refugees reported as highly and moderately vulnerable and in continued need of humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs (REVA III, April 2020).
Since the start of the crisis, WFP has provided food assistance to the camp population and nutrition services to pregnant and nursing mothers and young children. This assistance is complemented with life-skills training, disaster risk reduction activities and common engineering services.
WFP also facilitates essential shared Logistics and Emergency Telecommunication services and co-leads the Food Security Sector.
In March 2020, WFP rapidly adapted its programmes with the outbreak of COVID-19 to adhere to government restrictions while ensuring lifesaving interventions continue.