Bangladesh is one of the most natural disaster prone countries in the world. The country is highly vulnerable to shocks, in an extremely fragile environment, which has annual cyclone and monsoon seasons.
Even though the country is already struggling with a high population density, Bangladesh is actually hosting one of the most intractable refugee crises in the world: the “Rohingya crisis”.
Bangladesh has been the second theatre of the Rohingya crisis for more than 30 years. In fact, this minor ethno-linguistic grouping has faced decades of repression and discrimination in its home country Myanmar/Burma, precisely in the north of Rakhine State, because this group is not recognised by the Burmese government. As a result, many of its members are seeking refuge in neighboring Bangladesh, in the southern region of Cox’s Bazar.
Description of the mission
Since the events of the 25th of August 2017, more than 800,000 (including 670,000 in Cox’s Bazar) Rohingya crossed the border from Myanmar to Bangladesh, making this the world’s fastest developing refugee emergency.
This population, especially women and children, are subjected to serious violations of their human rights, including killings and rape and forced displacement.
UN rights experts have warned that the violence against Rohingya in Rakhine State “may amount to crimes against humanity”.
Première Urgence Internationale has a longstanding background in the region. It has been present in Myanmar/Burma since 1984 as well as in Thailand until the end of 2016.
In 2017, after an exploratory mission that highlighted widespread urgent needs, Première Urgence Internationale decided to intervene in Bangladesh, in the Cox’s Bazar area.
Premiere Urgence Internationale in action
In a few months, Kutupalong camp became the largest refugee camp in the world.
In order to guarantee an effective dialogue between the different actors and to deliver emergency assistance to Crisis-Affected Populations in Cox’s Bazar, Première Urgence Internationale is supporting the management of two areas of the “mega-camp”. Within this setting, the teams take care of the development of the site, the adaptation and the efficiency of the services as well as the coordination between the actors present on the site, in an approach based on protection and on the support of specific needs of the most vulnerable population.
Bangladesh: a success story of community engagement
In the past two years, the previously existing Rohingya refugee camp of Kutupalong has enlarged from 30,000 into a mega-camp with over 600,000 refugees. Even if primary needs are still present in the Teknaf Camps, people – especially Elder, Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities – have different needs that go unmet.
Improving living conditions in camps in Bangladesh
Première Urgence Internationale has been working in Bangladesh since 2017 to respond to the needs of Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar to escape persecution.