Bangladesh

 

Operation: Opération: Bangladesh

Location

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Latest update of camps and office locations 21  Nov  2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

Key Figures

2016 end-year results
97% of primary school-aged children residing in refugee camps were enrolled in primary education
96% of refugee children under 12 months old residing in refugee camps were issued with birth certificates by authorities
6,330 households received complementary domestic items
220 incidents of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) were reported and survivors received appropriate assistance, including psychosocial counselling
167 community-awareness and sensitization campaigns were conducted 
2017 planning figures
6,720 people will be trained in basic hygiene practices
5,000 new admissions to supplementary feeding programmes
4,800 people of concern will receive shelter support
3,650 children aged 3-5 will be enrolled in early childhood education
1,800 people will be referred to secondary and tertiary medical care
1,000 people of concern will receive training on how to use computers

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

19%
Increase in
2016
2016 276,208
2015 231,958
2014 232,485

 

[["Refugees",33207],["Refugee-like situation",243000],["Asylum-seekers",1]]
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Bangladesh

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Working environment

In 2016, UNHCR’s access was limited to a small number of urban refugees, as well as those registered in “official” refugee camps. Under the National Strategy on Myanmar Refugees, UNHCR does not have official access to undocumented Myanmar nationals (UMNs).

At end year, 43,000 people had fled violence in Rakhine State in Myanmar and sought shelter in registered camps, makeshift camps and settlements, and host villages in Bangladesh.

There remains an artificial distinction between registered refugees and UMNs who share the same origin and are exposed to similar protection risks.

Access to formal education, employment and livelihood opportunities, as well as durable solutions for refugees remained limited. 

Population trends

  • At the end of 2016, there were 76 urban refugees and some 33,130 Myanmar/Rohingya individuals officially registered in Kutupalong and Nayapara refugee camps.
  • In addition, there were an estimated 200,000 UMNs in the country and some 43,000 new arrivals from Myanmar who arrived in the aftermath of the October 2016 hostilities. The Government estimates the total number of the UMN to be 200,000 - 500,000. 

Achievements and impact

  • The multi-year statelessness strategy was developed and launched.
  • UNHCR strengthened its SGBV response through the deployment of legal and psychosocial support counsellors for refugees in camps.
  • Although UNHCR does not have formal access to UMNs, several field level initiatives have been launched. This includes the establishment of inter-camp Rohingya relations commission which aims at enhancing peaceful coexistence between the registered refugees and unregistered refugees living in Kutupalong and mediating disputes.
  • UNHCR provided emergency assistance to new arrivals who were sheltered inside the two registered camps. Approximately 400 families were supported with core-relief items and clothing. 

Unmet needs

  • Many of the needs relating to shelter and infrastructure remained unaddressed. Camp infrastructure in particular required major renovation as some structures are over 10 years old.
  • Water resources in Nayapara camp were scarce, and consequently, access to water remained below UNHCR’s standards.
  • Given that UNHCR is not allowed to officially respond to the needs of unregistered refugees and new arrivals and the absence of other agencies with the required protection expertise, there is a huge gap in addressing various protection risks, especially in areas of SGBV response, unaccompanied children, access to justice, and birth registration. 

Operational context and population trends

Registered refugees in Bangladesh continue to face restrictions in their freedom of movement and access to formal employment, full secondary education, vocational training and basic social services. Consequently, refugees in Kutupalong and Nayapara camps are highly dependent on aid. Conditions inside the camps are very challenging, with severe overcrowding, insufficient public utilities and limited services. 

As of 31 December 2015, there were 31,879 registered Rohingya refugees in Kutupalong and Nayapara camps. In addition, a growing population of more than 200,000 unregistered refugees are residing outside the camps in Cox’s Bazar and neighbouring districts, as well as in makeshift sites adjacent to the official camps. 

UNHCR also monitors the situation of people in Bangladesh at risk of statelessness. Although the number of individuals at risk is unclear, UNHCR is looking in particular at Urdu speakers who may encounter difficulties (or in some cases refuse) to avail themselves of Bangladeshi citizenship despite the 2008 High Court ruling, as well as cases of children of mixed parentage. 

Key priorities in 2016

The main priority for UNHCR in 2016 is to secure durable solutions for refugees living in Bangladesh. Resettlement activities remain suspended, although the Government has announced its intention to resume the resettlement programme. For the unregistered Rohingya population, UNHCR will continue to advocate to initiate the Government’s ‘listing’ exercise, and ensure that all unregistered Rohingya receive legal status.

For registered refugees in camps, UNHCR’s focus will be on: 
  • Maintaining the provision of non-food items (NFIs) and access to basic services like health care, WASH, nutrition and domestic items; 
  • Improving access to justice, especially for survivors of domestic violence; 
  • Encouraging community mobilisation and self-management initiatives; 
  • Expanding access to secondary education;
  • Maintaining camp infrastructure; 
  • Enhancing women’s empowerment; 
  • Strengthening child protection and SGBV mechanisms; 
  • Maintaining a harmonised UNHCR-Government database through on-going registration activities and capacity-building activities for key stakeholders. 
For the unregistered refugee population, UNHCR will prioritize:
  • Advocating for international protection standards, including legal status, through the implementation of the national strategy on undocumented Myanmar nationals; 
  • Access to justice for survivors of SGBV and trafficking through UNHCR and its partners; 
  • Liaising with UNICEF to ensure birth registration for new-borns from the unregistered Rohingya population and access to primary education.