DRC has been operating in Bangladesh since 2014, and in 2017 we started providing emergency assistance to the Rohingya population arriving from neighbouring Myanmar.
Today, the world’s largest camp complex for displaced persons is located in Bangladesh. Despite being one of the most densely populated countries in the world, Bangladesh has generously received asylum seekers for decades, primarily people fleeing recurring waves of conflict in neighbouring Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
In August 2017, an outbreak of hostilities in Rakhine triggered a large-scale displacement of more than 600,000 Rohingya people, who fled across the border into Bangladesh to seek refuge.
Here they joined a large preexisting refugee population in Cox’s Bazar and neighbouring Bandarban districts. This is where an estimated 919,000 Rohingya refugees and 514,000 host community members in Cox’s Bazar now reside, facing a dire need for humanitarian assistance.
Core sectors Bangladesh
Source: | UNHCR
Why we are there
The pre-2017 Rohingyas residing in Bangladesh are registered as refugees and allowed to stay on, while those who arrived after August 2017 were given the status as Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMN) who are to be repatriated.
Further complicating the humanitarian situation, the Rohingya population is concentrated in a small and underdeveloped coastal area of southeastern Bangladesh, which is prone to natural disasters like floods and cyclones.
With resources and capacities already chronically stretched in the country, DRC’s presence and support in Bangladesh is critical to meeting the needs of affected populations and their host communities.
What we do
DRC has been operating in Bangladesh since 2014, and in 2017 we started providing emergency assistance to the Rohingya population arriving from neighbouring Myanmar. As of 2023, DRC works in 7 Rohingya camps and one host community, sub-district Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar, with activities covering three DRC core sectors:
- Economic Recovery
- Camp Coordination & Camp Management
Kutupalong-Balukhali, located at the border with Myanmar, is the largest of the camps in the complex and home to the vast majority of the Rohingya, who are living in makeshift bamboo and tarpaulin shelters. DRC works on the ground to provide access to protection services and shelter materials, to develop alternative livelihoods and to improve infrastructure.
Despite the challenges during lockdowns due to Covid-19, DRC has been able to continue providing emergency assistance and support in collaboration with groups of volunteers from among both the Rohingya and host communities to strengthen their resilience to cope with crises.
In addition to providing individual protection services for vulnerable adults and children, DRC also works with the Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner of the Government of Bangladesh to provide site management services, improving the standards of shelter and living conditions for residents of the camps.
Working in collaboration with
Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
International Organization for Migration
Country Director - OP - Bangladesh