Operation: Opération: Bangladesh



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Key Figures

2017 year-end results
250,000 people of concern have benefitted from the installation of 23 water taps and various wells
47,060 families received core relief items, some 27,600 families received shelter kits, and 68,300 families received compressed rice husk
3,060 new latrines and 1,590 bath cubicles constructed during the period providing coverage for 152,900 people 
1,100 UASC and 114 children’s families received targeted support, and 18 child friendly spaces (CFS) were set up
20  outpatient therapeutic programmes were set up to respond to cases of malnutrition 
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

Increase in
2017 932,334
2016 276,208
2015 231,958


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Year-end Overview

Plan Overview

Working environment

Bangladesh is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and it does not have domestic refugee legislation that regulates the reception and protection of refugees, however the Government and people of Bangladesh have demonstrated remarkable international solidarity by keeping their border open to those fleeing violence in the Rakhine state. Bangladesh welcomed approximately 725,000 stateless Rohingya refugees from Myanmar who fled an eruption of violence in late August 2017. UNHCR projects that there will be
some 900,000 stateless Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in 2019, including an estimated 200,000 who fled Rakhine State in previous waves of displacement.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MDMR) and its Office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) have been assigned to oversee the refugee response. A bilateral agreement signed by the Governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar on 23 November 2017 envisages voluntary, safe and sustainable refugee returns to Myanmar.  The agreement between the two States also contemplates the engagement of UNHCR to ensure that international standards are met. On 13 April 2018, the Government of Bangladesh and UNHCR signed a complementary MoU on voluntary repatriation, which reinforces this commitment to international standards and establishes a framework for enhanced operational engagement when the conditions for return are ripe.
In addition to keeping its borders open, the Government is providing land, sharing its natural resources, expending health services and investing in preparedness through a national cyclone preparedness programme. Military and civilian authorities have played a key role in organizing relief distribution, logistics and construction, closely collaborating with UNHCR and partners involved the emergency response.
UNHCR will continue to advocate for the protection of refugees regardless of their legal status and location through active participation in, and staffing support to, the existing inter-agency coordination mechanism. UNHCR will engage with different humanitarian actors focusing on local partnerships and will enhance strategic collaboration with line ministries to enhance protection space for refugees. UNHCR will continue to play a catalytic role in engaging development stakeholders, including the World Bank, UNDP, IFIs, the private sector and civil society.
Any returns of refugees should be based on a free and informed choice. Potential returns must be in line with international standards of voluntariness, safety, and dignity, and must be sustainable. The timing and pace of returns should be determined by the refugees themselves. UNHCR will provide assistance wherever refugees have voluntarily chosen to settle, in places of origin or other places, with a condition that UNHCR has full access to the areas allowing robust protection monitoring by UNHCR.

Key priorities

 In 2019, UNHCR will focus on:
  • Securing the legal identity of Rohingya refugees which has been systematically denied in Myanmar;
  • Strengthening the protective environment for refugees and ensuring their enjoyment of basic human rights;
  • Improving the living conditions for refugees in settlements, while bolstering peaceful-coexistence with, and support for, host communities
  • Empowering refugees and supporting the establishment of systems of governance that support resilience
  • Establishing the foundation for solutions, including voluntary repatriation and alternative solutions, while establishing interim measures for refugees to live a safe and dignified existence.