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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 422,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, putting a strain on aid resources. Humanitarian agencies have launched an urgent appeal for US$77 million to cover basic needs until the end of 2017. (ISCG, 19 Sep 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)

Before the recent waves of violence, there were already an estimated 300,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh since the 1990s. (IOM, 30 Jul 2017)

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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22 Sep 2017 description
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Screenshot of the interactive content as of 22 Sep 2017.
22 Sep 2017 description

This report is produced by ISCG in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers 20 September 2017. The next report will be issued on 22 Sept.


22 Sep 2017 description

In the last three weeks, nearly 430,000 Rohingya refugees have fled violence across the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh. Refugees have arrived exhausted, hungry and traumatized by their weeks-long ordeal. Some have arrived with injuries caused by gunshots, fire and landmines. Thousands paid extortionate fees to make risky crossings from Myanmar in small boats, and dozens of people reportedly drowned as a number of overcrowded boats capsized.

22 Sep 2017 description

Special Briefing
Simon Henshaw
Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Palace Hotel
New York City, NY
September 20, 2017

22 Sep 2017 description

New York – On Wednesday (20/09), the UN Migration Agency’s Director General William Lacy Swing and Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met during the UN General Assembly in New York to discuss humanitarian aid for the thousands fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Bangladesh, already host to approximately 300,000, had welcomed 74,000 after an incident in October 2016 and a further 429,000 people, who are seeking safety from an outbreak of violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, on 25 August.

22 Sep 2017 description


  • IOM Director General declared a ‘Level 3 Emergency’ for Bangladesh to ensure a rapid and effective scale-up of the humanitarian response. Additional staff have been deployed and IOM’s Migration Emergency Funding Mechanism has been activate

  • Since the current influx began, IOM distributed 30,000 tarpaulins, installed 248 emergency latrines, trucked 72,000 litres of water, and provided healthcare services to over 18,000 patients.

22 Sep 2017 description


  • Over 400,000 flee their homes in northern Rakhine

  • Humanitarian operations severely disrupted in central Rakhine

  • Rakhine Advisory Commission issues final report

  • Civilians in Kachin and Shan bear the brunt of armed conflict

  • Monsoon season floods temporarily displaced over 300,000


22 Sep 2017 description

(Geneva, 22 September 2017) The International Campaign to Ban Landmines strongly condemns the use of antipersonnel landmines by Myanmar’s armed forces in recent weeks along the country’s border with Bangladesh. It demands that the government of Myanmar (Burma) immediately stop using these indiscriminate weapons and join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. The ICBL calls on all parties to the conflict in Myanmar to respect the prohibition of antipersonnel mines.

22 Sep 2017 description
report Save the Children

NEW YORK, NY (September 21, 2017)— As world leaders meet in New York for the UN General Assembly, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya children who fled violence and killing in Myanmar’s Rakhine state are now facing an increasingly desperate situation in Bangladesh.

Close to 250,000 children are among the newly arrived Rohingya in the Bangladesh district of Cox’s Bazar, where there are widespread shortages of food, water and shelter. Heavy rainfall in recent days is making a desperate situation even worse.

22 Sep 2017 description

Cox’s Bazar, 22 September 2017: To monitor health issues affecting the over 422 000 people in camps and settlements in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, WHO has set up a Control Room as part of the humanitarian health response.

22 Sep 2017 description
  • According to the latest figures, 429 000 refugees have crossed into Bangladesh since 25 August. UNICEF announced that an “unprecedented” 60% of new refugees in Bangladesh are children. In total, some 900 000 Rohingya refugees are now in Bangladesh. Ethnic Rakhine, Hindu and other minority groups are beginning to return home, according to state media.
  • Indonesia has provided two cargo planes with relief items worth approximately USD 280 000 for people in North Rakhine.
22 Sep 2017 description

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

22 September 2017

As the number of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar edges towards half a million, the UN Refugee Agency is stepping up delivery of live-saving aid to desperate people camped out near two official refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh.

22 Sep 2017 description

In Numbers

422,000 people have arrived in Bangladesh

200,600 people received high-energy biscuits

213,790 people received hot meals

4,566 pregnant women, new mothers and children reached with special, high-nutrient porridge


  • WFP is distributing fortnightly rations of 25 kg of rice to newly arrived families. To date, 173,000 people (34,600 households) have received rice.

  • WFP continues to provide high-energy biscuits to people as they cross the border.

22 Sep 2017 description
report World Vision

COX’S BAZAR (22 SEPTEMBER 2017) - In a response to a government call for assistance, World Vision will begin food distributions on 24 September to some 15,200 refugees (3,050 households) who fled fighting in Myanmar. Relief will be distributed at Ukhia “upazilla” (sub-division) in Cox’s Bazar District. The food package contains rice, lentils, salt, cooking oil, and sugar for the next two months to meet critical needs.

22 Sep 2017 description

The UN refugee agency today welcomes a personal donation of US$1 million from Mr. Tadashi Yanai, Chairman, President and CEO of Fast Retailing.Co., Ltd., parent company of Japan’s leading apparel brand, UNIQLO. The funds donated by Mr. Yanai will be used for UNHCR to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees newly arrived in Bangladesh.

21 Sep 2017 description
  1. The government of the Republic of Korea will provide humanitarian aid worth US$1.5 million through the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for emergency assistance to hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled to Bangladesh since the violent clashes in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

21 Sep 2017 description

At a Bangladesh refugee camp, those who fled Myanmar in the 1990s give food, shelter and clothing to new arrivals in greatest need.

By Tim Gaynor | 21 September 2017

KUTUPALONG REFUGEE CAMP, Bangladesh – Nasima Khatum became a refugee in Bangladesh in 1992, at the age of 10.

Now a mother, she cooks up large pots of rice over a wood fire to feed famished fellow Rohingya refugees fleeing an outbreak of violence that erupted in Myanmar in late August.

21 Sep 2017 description
report Médecins du Monde

Since August 25th, there has been a steady escalation of violence against the Rohingya minority in Rakhine state, Myanmar. More than 415,000 people have been forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh and are now seeking refuge in the Cox's Bazar region. Many refugees have settled in makeshift camps, with limited supplies of food or water, and almost no access to medical care. Almost 80% of the refugees are women (including pregnant women) and children.

21 Sep 2017 description

When Rehana Begum, 20, fled Myanmar for Bangladesh she was heavily pregnant with twins, struggling for three days across mountains and spending two further days sleeping on the side of the road once she crossed the border.

On the day she arrived at Unchiprang camp, an informal settlement for new arrivals, she gave birth to a boy and a girl. The baby boy died during childbirth, and her husband Sulaiman had to bury him in an unmarked grave in the mud next to their tent.

21 Sep 2017 description

Kutupalong, Bangladesh – A massive scale-up of humanitarian aid in Bangladesh is needed to avoid a huge public health disaster following the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees. Following a wave of targeted violence against Rohingya more than 422,000 people have fled to Bangladesh from Rakhine State in Myanmar within a three week period. The most recent influx of Rohingya refugees has added to the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled across the border during episodes of violence in previous years.