Fabeha Monir/Oxfam

Refugees in Bangladesh

Rohingya crisis appeal


Close to a million Rohingya people forced to flee terrifying violence in Myanmar - in what the UN called a "textbook definition of ethnic cleansing" - are now living in overcrowded conditions in the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh. Families have limited access to clean water, soap or food, and urgently need assistance. And coronavirus is now present in the camp.

We are supporting people to

  • Three people stand in social distancing spray painted circles on the ground near a tap

    Survive today by helping people stay clean and healthy

    We're helping people stay healthy by installing water points, toilets and showers, and distributing soap and other essentials like sanitary towels. We have recruited more than 300 Rohingya volunteers to help us train 11,000 refugees about the importance of good hygiene.

  • Rohingya refugee Asia Bibi* with solar powered lamp provided by Oxfam

    Prepare for tomorrow by helping people keep themselves safe

    We have installed solar-powered lights around the camp and provided torches and portable solar lanterns so that refugees - especially women - feel safer leaving their shelters after dark to reach water points and toilets.

  • Two men walk past two water tanks holding umbrellas

    Adapt for the future with sustainable water and waste systems

    Oxfam has built more than 600 wells which help to prevent water being contaminated after a heavy rain fall and leading to an outbreak of disease. We're installing a large sewage facility to process the waste of 50,000 people, which will rise to 100,000.

The threat of coronavirus

Families are now facing the new, deadly threat of coronavirus as it spreads through the overcrowded camps. With six to seven people often living in small shelters of bamboo and tarpaulin, self-isolating at home and social distancing is almost impossible.

Wash areas and public toilets are often crowded, with women in particular standing in long lines. People have very limited access to clean water and soap to stay protected.

Salahuddin Ahmed

We train volunteers so they can teach other refugees and spread good hygiene messages far and wide.”

Iffat, Oxfam Senior Public Health Promotion & Community Engagement, Bangladesh

The health facilities that existed pre-coronavirus were already limited. Since the pandemic, temporary isolation facilities have been set up to support those who fall ill, but these are limited too. Malnutrition is also a serious concern. People have limited access to food and many have lost their sources of income - making food unaffordable.

Oxfam is working with its local partners to set up handwashing stations, distribute kits to families that include essential hygiene items, train up health care promoters to share information in their communities on how to stay protected. And giving families cash to buy the food they desperately need.