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UNHCR and partners rush support to Rohingya refugees affected by deadly landslides in Bangladesh

Briefing notes

UNHCR and partners rush support to Rohingya refugees affected by deadly landslides in Bangladesh

21 June 2024
A damaged refugee camp, following landslides and monsoon rains. There is mud, tree branches and damaged buildings.

Damage caused by deadly landslides in one of the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and its humanitarian partners are stepping up support to assist some 8,000 Rohingya refugees who were affected on Wednesday by landslides in the Cox’s Bazar refugee settlements in Bangladesh.

Initial reports suggest seven Rohingya refugees have been killed, including children, and many others injured. The landslides happened in the aftermath of the first monsoon rains which began this week, bringing more misery to residents of the camp.

While detailed assessments continue in the camps, initial reports indicate nearly 1,200 refugee shelters have been destroyed or damaged, displacing some 2,000 refugees.

Refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and prone to natural disasters. Cox’s Bazaar is projected to be one of the hardest hit areas in Asia by climate change. Some 930,000 Rohingya refugees living in 33 congested camps in Cox's Bazar have been impacted by over 770 landslides and floods since their rapid expansion in 2017, and more damage is expected with further rain forecast.

UNHCR and partners are supporting the survivors and injured. Teams have been mobilized to find shelter for those displaced as work continues to rehabilitate or fix damaged accommodation. In addition to shelter, affected refugees also urgently require food and household items as well as access to health care and psychosocial support. The disaster has left families, especially children, traumatized.

We are urgently appealing to donors to make additional resources available as humanitarian efforts in the camps are severely hampered by acute underfunding. UNHCR’s financial requirements for Bangladesh amount to $275 million in 2024 and are 25 per cent funded. Despite reaching the mid-year mark, the 2024 inter-agency appeal for the Rohingya situation led by the Bangladesh authorities – the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis Joint Response Plan (JRP 2024) – which requests $852.4 million, is less than 30 per cent funded. It is also critical that pledges made at last year’s Global Refugee Forum are fulfilled to advance self-reliance for Rohingya refugees and to ease the pressure on the Government of Bangladesh as it generously continues to host them.

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