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Almost one million Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh

Supporting the Displaced Populations/Refugees

Since August 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh, where HI is providing assistance to more than 30,000 people.

HI staff enter Kutupalong refugee camp Bangladesh.

HI staff enter Kutupalong refugee camp Bangladesh. | © HI

Interview with Jean-Loup Gouot, Director of HI in Bangladesh

What emergency action is HI taking?

HI has assisted more than 30,000 Rohingya refugees in the Kutupalong, Balukhali, Unchipranget and Nayapara camps since September 2017. We have provided rehabilitation care to more than 8,000 people with injuries, reduced mobility or disabilities, along with psychological support, and organised fun activities for children. We have also distributed crutches, wheelchairs, etc., hygiene kits, kitchen utensils, blankets, and food rations. Lastly, we have made available a fleet of 340 lorries to help store and transport humanitarian equipment for HI and other humanitarian organisations, notably by setting up two logistics platforms.

Have the living conditions of Rohingya refugees improved?

More than 900,000 Rohingya are now refugees in Bangladesh. They find it difficult to access health care, food, clean water and education, and remain highly dependent on humanitarian aid. Their living conditions are also harsh.

Tensions have flared between local people and refugees over access to basic services (health care, education, etc.), and the sharing of already limited natural resources. The situation remains critical, and though the emergency situation has stabilised, it is steadily turning into a “chronic” crisis.

What are HI's priorities now?

We aim to ensure all vulnerable people have access to rehabilitation care, psychological support and basic services (health care, etc.). And to make sure all children[1], disabled or not, have equal access to education. HI assists some 30 schools, trains teachers, makes schools accessible to all (by fitting ramps, for example), and raises the awareness of families to send their children to school. This project has helped some 500 children with disabilities access an education.

Key figures ugst

Refugee camps where HI works: Kutupalong, Balukhali and Unchiprang Nayapara

HI has helped more than 24,000 people since the start of the crisis:

  • More than 8,000 people have been given rehabilitation care
  • More than 8,500 people have benefited from psychosocial support
  • 1,000 mobility aids (wheelchairs, walking frames, etc.) have been handed out
  • humanitarian equipment storage centres were made available as well as a fleet of 346 trucks carrying more than 6300m3 of humanitarian equipment for HI and other organisations.
  • 1,000 hygiene kits [2](more than 4,000 beneficiaires), 5,000 food rations [3] (more than 24,000 beneficiaires) and more than 900 [4] accommodation kits have been handed out.

HI on the field

Besides our on-going efforts to meet the functional rehabilitation care, psychosocial support and essential needs of vulnerable people, we still believe it is vital to ensure children - with or without disabilities – are able to go to school.



[2] 4,950 beneficiaries

[3] 24,995 beneficiaries

[4] 969 kits

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Bangladesh: greater role for fathers in maternal support
©Farid Alam Khan/HI

Bangladesh: greater role for fathers in maternal support

HI has supplied more than 800 men with information on how to be ‘responsible’ fathers in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Samira, one step at a time
© Abir Abdullah/HI

Samira, one step at a time

In the corner of a dark hut, ten-year-old Samira is busy with her make-up bag. A mirror directs thin rays of sunlight onto the little girl's face, revealing cheeks reddened by the mixture of face powders that she has put together. Samira is getting ready to go and play outside, in the Teknaf refugee camp in Bangladesh. No easy task after years of living in seclusion, due to her disability, cerebral palsy.

A day in the Ukhiya camp, home of 625,000 Rohingya refugees
© Abir Abdullah/HI
Supporting the Displaced Populations/Refugees

A day in the Ukhiya camp, home of 625,000 Rohingya refugees

We arrived at Cox's Bazar, a fishing port located along a 120-km stretch of beaches in southeast Bangladesh that draw the richest Bangladeshis. Paradoxically, this small seaside town is also a hub for expats working in nearby refugee camps. After 20 hours on planes flight, 10 hours of layovers, 4 airports, and a ride in a tum-tum (the Bangladeshi version of a tuk-tuk) I'm relieved to have finally arrived at my hotel and get a bit of rest. Tomorrow will be my first day in a refugee camp. The Ukhiya region is now crowded with 625,000 people, all waiting for a better future.