Rohingya Crisis

Since August 2017, well over 600,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar into Bangladesh. The UN is calling it the “fastest-growing refugee emergency” in the world.

Rohingya Crisis

The world’s “fastest growing refugee emergency”

Since outbreaks of violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), over 600,000 Rohingya have fled the country, crossing the border to Bangladesh. Many of them have settled in informal camps in the Cox’s Bazar area, in Bangladesh’s southeast. The number of refugees in the area has swelled to nearly 750,000 in a matter of months. The UN estimates that more than 60% of them are children. Many Rohingya arrive in the camps injured, wounded from the fighting and violence. Few brought more than the clothes on their backs. There are urgent needs for water, food, shelter, and medical care — and they increase each day.

Layru* and her two-year-old daughter Hala* at a Concern nutrition support center at Hakim Para camp in Bangladesh.

Layru and her two-year-old daughter Hala at a Concern nutrition support center at Hakim Para camp in Bangladesh. (Names changed for security.) Photo: Kieran McConville

Who are the Rohingya?

Often described as the “world’s most persecuted minority,” the Rohingya are predominantly Muslim and have lived in Myanmar for generations. Many migrated from Bangladesh during British rule. After gaining independence from Britain, Myanmar, a majority Buddhist nation, refused to acknowledge the Rohingya as citizens, rendering them a stateless people. Without recognition as citizens or permanent residents of Myanmar, the Rohingya have limited access to education, jobs, and health services, resulting in chronic poverty and marginalization. There has been tension and sporadic outbreaks of violence between Rohingya communities and the majority Buddhist population in Myanmar for decades, but in recent months violence has risen sharply, driving hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee into neighboring countries. The UN has described this as the “fastest-growing refugee emergency” in the world.

Men in a line

Rohingya men wait in line at a distribution site at Hakim Para in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: Kieran McConville

Our Response

Concern has been working in Bangladesh since 1972 and swiftly ramped up our response to meet the needs of recent Rohingya arrivals. We have seven emergency nutrition centers up in running in various camps, with an eighth under construction. Our teams have screened hundreds of thousands of children under the age of 5 (who are most vulnerable to acute malnutrition) and nearly 40,000 have been treated to date.

Help us reach more Rohingya families in need: