IOM Calls for Increased Support, Sustainable Solutions for Rohingya Refugees

Rohingya refugees and humanitarians have faced unprecedented challenges in 2023, including fires, cyclones, and ongoing threats of monsoon-related disasters, putting their resilience to the test. Photo: IOM

Geneva/Cox’s Bazar – As the Rohingya crisis marks its sixth year in Bangladesh, the plight of nearly 1 million refugees remains unchanged, trapped in a cycle of uncertainty and vulnerability. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) calls on the international community to ensure the provision of much-needed humanitarian assistance and long-term support for Rohingya refugees and their host communities. 

On 25 August 2017, hundreds of thousands of people fled violence in Rakhine, Myanmar, to Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh. Since then, Cox’s Bazar has been home to the world's largest refugee settlement, hosting almost one million refugees – half of whom are children.   

This year, humanitarian organizations have appealed for USD 876 million to aid around 1.47 million people, including both Rohingya refugees and local communities. However, the funds raised for this Joint Response Plan had only reached nearly 29 per cent of the target as of mid-year. This shortfall underscores the urgent need for unwavering and consistent financial support to the refugees, who almost entirely rely on humanitarian assistance. 

“The crucial funding that sustains the hopes and aspirations of these refugees is dwindling, casting a shadow of uncertainty over their future,” said Abdusattor Esoev, IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission. “The international community must reaffirm its steadfast commitment to these vulnerable people, as well as to the Bangladeshi communities that have stood in solidarity over the years.”  

Six years on, there is an increasing need to empower Rohingya refugees through improved access to education, skill development, and livelihood opportunities, which are vital components of this effort. Currently, there is a significant dependence on humanitarian assistance for basic needs arising from limited opportunities. 

“This predicament disproportionately affects certain segments of the community, notably individuals with disabilities, households led by women, and those lacking avenues for earning a livelihood,” Esoev said. “Consequently, these groups encounter exacerbated challenges, leaving them susceptible to adopting detrimental survival tactics, including human smuggling and trafficking.”  

This year has tested the resilience of the refugees and the spirit of humanitarians much more than the previous ones. Fire raged in March, a cyclone ripped through the camps in May, and now monsoon rains, floods, and landslides endanger the lives of refugees.  

Despite the shortfall in funding and other challenges, IOM and its humanitarian partners, in close coordination with the Government of Bangladesh, continue to deliver life-saving aid and basic services to refugees and host communities. 

IOM continues to provide shelter and non-food items; alternative fuel (liquefied petroleum gas-LPG); protection; health services, including mental health and psychosocial support; water, sanitation, and hygiene items; and skill development opportunities. IOM also plays a leading role in site management and site development, social cohesion, disaster risk management, needs and population monitoring (NPM), and coordination. 


For more information, please contact:  

In Cox’s Bazar: Tarek Mahmud, Tel: +880 1752 380 240, Email:  

In Bangkok: Itayi Viriri, Tel: +66 65 939 0934, Email: 

In Geneva: Diego Pérez Damasco, Tel.: +41 79 582 7235, Email: