IOM Scales Up Distribution of Emergency Materials as Rohingya Camps are Battered by Wind, Rain

Monsoon-related damage to homes and infrastructure in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in 2019 could far exceed that of 2018. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah

Cox’s Bazar – Unrelenting rain and winds are continuing to batter the Rohingya refugee camps of southern Bangladesh, displacing thousands of people, damaging homes and infrastructure, and increasing the risk of waterborne illnesses. The severe monsoon rains, which have pounded Cox’s Bazar since July 4th are the worst weather the district has experienced for over a year.   

“The rain and wind are causing misery on the ground and our teams are working day and night to provide emergency services and relocations to affected people. While we are grappling with the immediate effects of the storms, we still have to remain focused on long-term disaster management," said IOM Bangladesh Deputy Chief of Mission Manuel Pereira. 

“IOM supported nearly 6,000 families with emergency assistance by the 10th July 2019 and activated 1,800 trained Disaster Management Volunteers at camp levelto monitor conditions in the camps and assist those in need. But we recognize that this storm system is having a major impact on people in the camps and we are only half way through the monsoon season,” he added. 

In the past couple of days, IOM teams have distributed 5,079 plastic tarpaulins to families impacted by the storms. A total of 152 mm of precipitation was recorded in the Kutupalong mega-camp in a 24 hour period.  

IOM and its humanitarian partners are continuing to monitor weather and assist affected communities as needed. With rains continuing this morning, IOM engineers are concerned about worsening damage to paths, bridges and drainage systems, if weather conditions do not improve. 

The Inter Sector Coordination Group – the coordinating body for aid agencies operating in Cox’s Bazar – says that monsoon-related damage this year could be far worse than in 2018. It reports that over 45,000 individuals have been affected since the end of April due to weather-related incidents, compared to 55,000 affected during the whole of last year’s monsoon season. 

5,600 individuals have already been displaced, compared to 6,200 individuals in the 2018 monsoon. 

In the first 10 days of July 2019, 22,000 people were affected by the monsoon compared to 19,000 in the whole of July 2018. 

For more information please contact George McLeod at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Tel: +880 18 7071 8078, Email: