UN Migration Agency Appeals for USD 120 million to Support over 500,000 Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Cox's Bazar – Over 500,000 newly arrived Rohingya refugees are now living in dire conditions in Bangladesh's Cox Bazar region. IOM, the UN Migration Agency is appealing to the international community for USD 119.77 million to provide desperately needed aid. 

The speed and the magnitude of the influx since 25 August, when tens of thousands of Rohingya began fleeing violence in Norther Rakhine State, Myanmar, has resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency.

The majority arrived with little or nothing, joining an estimated 300,000 that had fled in earlier waves of displacement.

IOM, at the request of the Government of Bangladesh, has been leading the Inter Sector Coordination Group, which is coordinating the humanitarian response to the influx of Rohingya refugees.

This appeal outlines IOM’s funding requirement from September 2017 to February 2018 as a part of the wider UN Humanitarian Response Plan.

IOM’s operations focus on coordination and five sectors of assistance shelter and core relief items, displacement site management, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, coordination, protection and communication with communities . As well as the overall response, IOM leads the coordination of three specific sectors shelter and core relief items, site management and communicating with communities. 

Prior to the latest influx, IOM was coordinating humanitarian assistance to some 200,000 refugees living in makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar and continues to support this population, as well as newer arrivals.

Lifesaving services delivered by IOM and its partner agencies include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food security, health care, education, and psychosocial support for the most vulnerable individuals, many whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.

In Balukhali yesterday, Rahima waited in an aid distribution line. She carried what appeared to be a sleeping baby in her arms.

The little boy, Yunis, was fast asleep, oblivious to the commotion around him. He is two and a half years old, Rahima said, but the child in her arms, a tiny bundle of bones, with six fingers on each hand, looked so small and frail that one could have mistaken him to be an infant less than a year old.

She arrived in Cox's Bazar five days ago and had been walking for five days, she said. Yunis, had hardly eaten and has been running a fever ever since they left. She had nowhere to go, no shelter and no food. Currently, she lived in a settlement sharing a flimsy hut with several other families.

With existing settlements in Cox's Bazar becoming dangerously congested and the small village’s population tripling in a matter of weeks, IOM’s response plan, targets an estimated 450,000 individuals (90,000 households) in two phases to ensure adequate protection before the next rainy season begins in March/April 2018.

On 14 September, the Government of Bangladesh allocated 2,000 acres of forest land to set up a new camp in Ukhia Upazila. The land however, is entirely underdeveloped and will require planning and support to decongest sites, build roads and bridges, install drainage systems and provide soil protection earthworks to avoid landslides and additions risks. IOM, is leading the site management sector in Cox’s Bazar and its site developments aim to help 350,000 individuals.

The current WASH infrastructure is overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new arrivals. Without rapid action, outbreaks of diseases are inevitable. All sites are in urgent need of WASH and infrastructure to enable vector control and restore basic human dignity. IOM will target 331,520 individuals by installing and maintaining water points in the existing and new settlements, as well as the installation and maintenance of gender segregated emergency pit latrines, followed by the semi-permanent community household latrines to provide safe sanitation in new settlements and host communities.

The mass influx of Rohingya refugees has overwhelmed local Bangladesh administrations and its health services. There is an urgent need to provide immediate primary and secondary health care for the new arrivals through the establishment of new clinics and the strengthening of Government facilities. IOM aims to assist 607,735 people in need of medical support.

19 per cent of the refugees estimated to be female headed households. Elderly headed households account for 11 per cent of the population and child headed households, five percent. IOM will work to address some of the protection risks faced by affected communities.

To read the detailed appeal click here.

For more information, please contact:
Hala Jaber in Cox’s Bazar, Tel: +8801733335221, Email: or Peppi Siddiq in Dhaka, Tel: +8801755568894, Email: