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Refugees/Migrants - South-East Asia

The root causes of refugee flows continue to persist around the Bay of Bengal. Late August 2017 saw mass displacement after attacks on border guard posts in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State triggered a military response. More than 655,500 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, putting a strain on aid resources. This is the largest mass refugee movement in the region in decades. The speed and scale of the influx has resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency. Most are now reliant on humanitarian assistance for food and other life-saving needs. Basic services that were available before the influx are under severe strain due to the massive increase in people in the area. (ISCG, 14 Jan 2018)

Humanitarian agencies have launched an appeal for US$434 million to cover basic needs until February 2018. (IOM & ISCG, 3 Oct 2017)

This followed a smaller refugee influx in October 2016, when attacks on border guard posts — and the security operations that followed — led to an estimated 87,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh from Rakhine between 9 October 2016 and the end of July 2017. (IOM, 30 Jul 2017)

As of 14 January 2018, the total Rohingya refugee population in Cox's Bazar was estimated to be at least 868,000 people, including people who had left Myanmar after earlier waves of violence. (ISCG, 14 Jan 2018)

Within Rakhine state, some 120,607 people were already internally displaced due to previous outbreaks of violence in 2012. (Shelter Cluster, 31 Jul 2017)

In May 2015, more than 5,000 refugees and migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar were abandoned by smugglers on the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, triggering a regional crisis. Since then, regional maritime movements have declined due to intensified interdiction efforts, greater awareness of the risks, and the lack of legal status in destination countries. (UNHCR, 30 June 2016)

Approximately 12 of every 1,000 people who embark on mixed maritime movements from the Bay of Bengal do not survive the boat journey. This means as many as 2,000 Bangladeshis and Rohingya may have died before ever reaching land between 2012 and 2015 — adding up to a fatality rate higher than in the Mediterranean Sea. (UNHCR, 23 Feb 2016)

All Updates on Refugees/Migrants - South-East Asia

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21 Jan 2018 description

688,000 new arrivals are reported as of 21 January, according to IOM Needs and Population Monitoring (NPM) Baseline survey prior to Round 8. The full dataset can be found here. The increase in the number is not as a result of a significant influx, but due to strengthened assessments.

21 Jan 2018 description

145.7 M required for 2018

17.3 M contributions received, representing 12% of requirements

128.4 M funding gap for South East Asia

All figures are displayed in USD

19 Jan 2018 description

The first meeting of the Bangladesh/Myanmar Joint Working Group was held on 15 January in Naypiydaw, Myanmar. Discussions reportedly focused on the modalities for the return of refugees.

The right of refugees to return voluntarily should continue to be at the core of the dialogue between the Governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar. In addition to voluntary returns must be safe, dignified and sustainable.

The relocation of 9,400 refugees from Bandarban, near the border with Myanmar, to Kutupalong settlement began on 14 January 2018. It will continue in the next weeks.

19 Jan 2018 description
report UN Children's Fund


  • Nearly 656,000 refugees have arrived since 25 August 2017, among them 380,190 are children.

  • As of 11 January 2018, over 4,000 cases of suspected diphtheria were reported, with 32 deaths registered. Over 54 per cent of these deaths occurred among children under five years.

19 Jan 2018 description

91.1 M required for 2018
10.8 M contributions received, representing 12% of requirements
80.3 M funding gap for the Myanmar Situation

All figures are displayed in USD

19 Jan 2018 description

Key Highlights
- The Mental Health and Psychosocial Services (MHPSS) unit facilitated two Focus Group Discussions and relaxation sessions with 20 doctors and nurses in Kutupalong. The aim of the exercise was to get insights into Rohingya refugees’ MHPSS needs, the sociocultural dynamic, and training assessment needs.
- A Shelter/NFI Common Pipeline has been established, including an application system and supply numbers. IOM and the Shelter/NFI sector held an orientation meeting with sector partners to explain how to access the supplies via the Common Pipeline.

18 Jan 2018 description

Physicians for Human Rights Says Without an Investigation and Transparency, Repatriation Is a Nonstarter

Media Contact

DeDe Dunevant
Director of Communications
Tel: (646) 564-3723

New York, NY - 01/17/2018

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today expressed concern over an agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled brutal violence in Myanmar.

18 Jan 2018 description

UNHCR is working to re-position and weatherproof up to 80,000 shelters in southern Bangladesh to withstand rains expected in March.

KUTUPALONG CAMP EXTENSION, Bangladesh – On a patch of dirt in this sprawling informal settlement, Rohingya refugee Hafsa, 55, and her husband Mohammed, 60, supervise the construction of a sturdy shelter in a race against time.

18 Jan 2018 description


There are two scenarios for allocating land to agencies for service provision within Rohingya Refugee settlements.

a. Kutupalong / Balukhali extension areas

18 Jan 2018 description

Aides humanitaires d’urgence en faveur des réfugiés Rohingyas au Bangladesh et des victimes de la peste à Madagascar

A la fin de l’année 2017, le Gouvernement Princier a débloqué plus de 100.000 euros pour répondre à deux appels d’urgence en faveur des réfugiés Rohingyas au Bangladesh et de la population malgache touchée par une nouvelle épidémie de peste

18 Jan 2018 description

The First Meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on the retrun of the displaced Rohingyas from Rakhine State, was held 15-16 January 2018 in Nay Pyi Taw. Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque led the Bangladesh delegation while Permanent Secretary Myint Thu led the Myanmar side.

18 Jan 2018 description

The Australian Government is providing further support to combat the outbreak of highly contagious and deadly diphtheria amongst Rohingya in Bangladesh who have fled violence in Myanmar.

There have been more than 2,500 cases of suspected diphtheria, including 1,900 children, in camps accommodating Rohingya. At least 30 people have died from the disease, which causes extreme swelling of the throat making it difficult to breathe and swallow.

18 Jan 2018 description

GENEVA (16 January 2018) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, will visit the country's neighbours Bangladesh and Thailand from January 18, vowing to fulfill her mandate despite the Government's refusal to work with her.

"I am determined to carry on - to the best of my ability - this very important task of helping the victims of human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar, as mandated to me by the United Nations system," Lee said, before departing on the 13-day trip.