The refugee crisis in Bangladesh

Completed

The violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, which began on 25 August 2017, has driven an estimated 655,000 Rohingya across the border into Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Not only has the pace of new arrivals made this the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world, but the concentration of refugees is now amongst the densest in the world. Mostly traumatized women and children, these people have sought refuge in overcrowded makeshift settlements without adequate access to shelter, food, clean water or latrines. We are supporting Médecins Sans Frontières to massively scale up its operations in the region and provide desperately needed life-saving assistance.

Duration
2017-2018
Focus area
Emergency Response
country
Bangladesh
partner
Médecins Sans Frontières

Context

Violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, which began on 25 August 2017, has driven an estimated 655,000 Rohingya across the border into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, putting an immense strain on infrastructure, services and the host population.

Before this exodus began, the country was already hosting a verified population of well over 200,000 Rohingya from Myanmar - and likely many more. The speed and scale of the recent influx has resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency.

Action

Between August and December 2017, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) set up 15 health posts, three primary health centres and five inpatient health facilities. More than 200,000 patients have been treated at these facilities, mainly for respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases and diphtheria.

A network of MSF outreach teams has been set up, focusing on hygiene, health promotion and surveillance. The teams carry out active case finding and make referrals to health facilities for diagnosis and treatment.

Beyond the medical response, MSF is targeting its water and sanitation response at the most difficult to reach areas to prevent the spread of disease. MSF staff are therefore providing water and sanitation facilities for health centres and camps (latrines, water wells and a gravity water supply system).

Expected results

Drastically reduce morbidity and mortality rates of the displaced population, especially women and children under five.

Long-term strategy

As the makeshift settlements and camps continue to expand, MSF is working to provide refugees with access to life-saving services to meet basic needs such as health care, water and sanitation.