Heavy rain, flash flooding and landslides are affecting thousands of Rohingya refugees living in cramped conditions in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Tragically, two people have died and nine have been injured so far this monsoon season. Shelters, latrines and other sanitation facilities have also been damaged.
The monsoon season will last until October, creating more suffering for Rohingya refugees. Most have spent six years in exile after fleeing violence in Myanmar. Some have lived in the camps for decades.
In Cox’s Bazar, shelters are made of bamboo and tarpaulin, providing little protection from heavy wind and rain. Many are built on hillsides or low-lying areas and are at risk of being swept away in flash flooding or landslides.
With your support, UNHCR is distributing shelter kits to help refugees shore up or repair their homes. Our skilled teams are also working to improve drainage in camps, build footpaths and bridges, and stabilise slopes to reduce dangerous flooding and erosion.
When disaster strikes, Rohingya refugees such as Arafa are leading the emergency response.
Arafa was born as a refugee in Bangladesh and today lives with her husband and two children in Cox’s Bazar. After learning about cyclone preparation from a group of volunteers, she became interested in doing more to help her community.
Arafa began volunteering as a first responder in 2019. Since then, she has done incredible work – including helping to save children from drowning during a flood.
UNHCR trains Rohingya volunteers to carry out evacuations, conduct water rescues safely and perform first aid. Arafa says it’s particularly important for women to volunteer.
“We can provide support to elderly women who can’t go to communal shelters during natural disasters or to pregnant women who need help going to health centres or looking after their toddlers.”
UNHCR continues to work towards long-term solutions that will allow Rohingya refugees to return home safely and voluntarily. But with the monsoon threatening to destroy the only homes they have left, Rohingya refugees need your help now.
First cases test Bangladesh preparations
UNHCR, Bangladeshi authorities and refugee volunteers rush to respond as a massive fire leaves some 45,000 Rohingya refugees without shelter.
The majority of funds raised by Australia for UNHCR are directed to UNHCR’s emergency operations, providing the ready funds and resources to respond quickly and effectively in situations of crisis and disaster.