Dhaka, Bangladesh, 25 August 2023 — Six years on since the start of the Rohingya Crisis, Hasina Rahman, IRC Bangladesh Director, said,
“Six years have passed since over 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled Myanmar. The situation in Bangladesh has now evolved into a protracted crisis, with almost a million people struggling to survive. Among them, thousands of children are growing up in the world’s largest refugee camp without access to formal education or jobs as they reach adulthood. In the last year alone, the number of cases of child labour seen by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has almost doubled across just five camps in Cox’s Bazar. As the crisis draws into its seventh year, it is vital that the Rohingya refugees are guaranteed safe fire and flood resistance shelters, offered access to livelihoods and education to support their self-sufficiency, and ensured protection from violence.
“Climate-induced disasters in the region are increasing year-on-year in frequency and Rohingya refugees are enduring a cycle of disaster. Fires, flooding, landslides, and cyclones destroy shelters on a regular basis, forcing families to repeatedly repair and rebuild, fully aware that they will have to continue doing so. Meanwhile, as the Rohingya Crisis continues, so do the threats of gender-based violence, sexual violence, exploitation, and trafficking. Women, girls, children, the elderly, those who identify as LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable. These marginalised groups must be given priority in the humanitarian response, especially as donors contemplate long-term funding
“The sustainable solution ultimately rests in the voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees. However, this option cannot be considered as long as unfavourable conditions persist in Myanmar. Meanwhile, the ongoing crisis is putting an unfair strain on the resources of local communities in Cox's Bazar, who are hosting the Rohingya communities. Consequently, it is imperative that donor funding not only addresses the immediate refugee needs but also incorporates the well-being of the host community.
“The international community cannot afford to turn a blind eye. The IRC is calling for world leaders to sustain their support for both the Rohingya refugees and the local communities in Bangladesh. Together, they must strive to bring an end to this crisis.”
The IRC began responding to the Rohingya crisis in August 2017 and launched its response officially in March 2018. With over 400 staff in Bangladesh and operating across 27 camps across the district, our teams provide essential healthcare to the host community as well as Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar, as well as reproductive and maternal healthcare, child protection, education, prevention and response to gender-based violence, and Emergency Disaster Risk Reduction (EDRR)