Rohingya Refugees Struggle to Survive in Cox’s Bazar Settlements

Bangladesh (IOM) – Over the past month an estimated 430,000 ethnic Rohingya people have made the dangerous and arduous journey from Myanmar’s North Rakhine State to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh to escape the ongoing violence described by the UN as “ethnic cleansing”.

They joined another 200,000 Rohingya already living in Cox’s Bazar’s vast, muddy tarpaulin and bamboo makeshift settlements. Of these, 80,000 had already arrived between October 2016 and August this year, following an earlier outbreak of violence. Bangladesh is now grappling with a humanitarian crisis triggered by this influx of desperate people.

As one drives along the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf Highway, a bumpy “B-road” that is the only access to Kutupalong refugee camp and the adjacent Kutupalong makeshift settlement, the epicenter of this human tide, countless faces lining the road stare into the car.

IOM's Project Officer from the Bangladesh Office, Tamsin Fernandez-Cox, writes of her impressions from the camps in the IOM Medium blog