Sina Hasan / DRC

Country Facts

DRC present since


DRC staff


People in need (Source: Humanitarian Response Plan 2021)


Displacement Situation 

Despite having one of the world’s highest population densities, Bangladesh has been generously receiving asylum seekers for many decades, primarily people fleeing recurring waves of conflict in neighbouring Myanmar’s Rakhine State. In August 2017, a fresh outbreak of hostilities there triggered the displacement of more than 600,000 Rohingya people, who fled into Bangladesh to seek refuge.

Here they joined a large pre-existing refugee population in the city of Cox’s Bazar and neighbouring Bandarban district, and today an estimated 860,000 Rohingya refugees and 440,000 host community members in Cox’s Bazar are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. A further 509,000 host community members have been added into the 2020 Joint Response Plan to address needs caused by Covid-19.

Further complicating the humanitarian situation, the refugee population is concentrated in a small and underdeveloped area of southeastern Bangladesh, which is prone to natural disasters like floods and cyclones. With resources and capacities already chronically stretched in the country, DRC’s presence and support in Bangladesh is critical to meeting the needs of refugee populations and their host communities.

On March 22, 2021, a fire razed three Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar district hosting the world's largest refugee complex. The fire quickly spread across camps 08E, 08W and 9 and destroyed shelters of refugees as well as the communities hosting them. Also essential facilities such as hospitals, primary health facilities, learning centres, and women friendly spaces were consumed by the fire in the camps. DRC in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh and other aid agencies are responding to emergency needs among the people in need in Cox's Bazar.

DRC Response 

DRC has been operating in Bangladesh since 2017, when the first team started providing emergency assistance to the Rohingya population arriving from neighbouring Myanmar. The Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh is hosting what today is the world’s largest refugee camp complex. As of 2020, DRC works in ten Rohingya camps and one host community sub-district, Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar with activities covering four sectors:

  • Site Management Support (general camp management and site development/rehabilitation)
  • Protection (Case Management, Protection Monitoring, Community-Based Protection plus Gender-based Violence and Child Protection)
  • Livelihoods (income-generation, vocational training, environmental protection such as land stabilisation)
  • Shelter and Site Development (shelter repair and maintenance).

DRC is particularly active in Kutupalong-Balukhali, known today as the world’s largest refugee camp and home to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees living in makeshift bamboo and tarpaulin shelters. DRC works here to improve infrastructure, provide shelter and develop alternative livelihoods for refugees, all in desperate need in this impoverished, under-resourced region.

DRC Bangladesh continued supporting both Rohingya refugees and the host community during Covid-19. With the emerging challenges during lock-down, DRC successfully managed to provide emergency assistance and support to both communities to build capacity, resilience, and strength to fight this global pandemic.

DRC works with the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission of the Government of Bangladesh to provide site management services, improving the standards of shelter and living conditions for residents of the camp. In addition, DRC provides individual protection services, identifying and developing support mechanisms for vulnerable adults and children.


DRC is grateful to all donors for generous support and continued commitment to our work in Bangladesh:
Danida · ECHO · Global Affairs Canada · IOM · UNHCR


Picture Mikkel

Mikkel Trolle

Regional Director (Asia)

+45 33735019 [email protected]

Sumitra Mukherjee

Country Director (Bangladesh)

[email protected]