Emergency Response in the Rohingya Refugee Camps
By end-June 2021, there were over 878,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. This includes almost 600,000 in the Kutupalong megacamp, the largest refugee camp in the world, and over 18,000 on Bhasan Char island. The COVID-19 pandemic created a double-layered crisis and heightened vulnerabilities among refugees with 96 percent being reported as moderately and highly vulnerable by end-2020. As evidenced by the major January and March fires in Teknaf and Ukhiya megacamps respectively, ensuring refugees’ safety and wellbeing remains a serious challenge with population density reaching 60,000 persons per km2 (REVA-IV, 2021).
Since the start of the crisis in August 2017, WFP has provided food assistance to the camp population, and nutrition services to women and children. This 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. WFP adapted its programmes to adhere to evolving COVID-19 restrictions, while ensuring lifesaving interventions continue.