Skip to main content

Bangladesh: Humanitarian Situation Report No. 53, 1 January to 31 December 2019

+ 1 more
Publication date


  • In 2019, UNICEF and its sector and implementing partners maintained full coverage of lifesaving services for children: nutrition treatment; primary health care; vaccination; and safe water and sanitation. This contributed to stabilizing the rates of acute malnutrition and reducing the scale of disease outbreaks.

  • The access of Rohingya refugee children to education increased from 60 per cent of boys and 57 per cent of girls aged 6 to 14 in 2018 to 76 per cent of boys and 70 per cent of girls per cent in 2019. UNICEF provides nearly 70 per cent of the sector response through 2,500 learning centres. In 2020, UNICEF will pilot the Myanmar curriculum for grades 6-9 for 10,000 students in the camps.

  • The UNICEF Adolescent Strategy was launched in April 2019 enabling UNICEF to provide Rohingya (18,000) and host community (7,600) adolescents with integrated vocational, literacy and numeracy, life skills and psychosocial support through a network of 109 multipurpose centres.

  • UNICEF scaled up its host community interventions in close collaboration with line departments, including the establishment of two new specialized neonatal support units; ensuring safe water for 400,000 people; and providing a second chance at an education for 11,000 adolescents.

Situation in Numbers

  • 683,000 children in need of humanitarian assistance (UNICEF HAC 2019)

  • 1.2 million people in need including both refugee & host community (UNICEF HAC 2019)

  • 495,929 Rohingya children in need of assistance (UNHCR, 30 Sept. 2019)

  • 914,998 Total Rohingya population in need of assistance (UNHCR, 30 Sept. 2019)

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Cox’s Bazar District is hosting over 854,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. 1 A plan for their voluntary and sustainable return is being explored, though past attempts have been unsuccessful and conditions within Myanmar remain unconducive. Two years into the crisis, with the support of the Government of Bangladesh, donors and humanitarian partners, necessary infrastructure and basic services have been established, and are generating substantial improvements in children's well-being. Global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates have dropped from 19 per cent in 2017 to 11 per cent in 2019, 2 and almost 90 per cent of children aged 4 to 14 years have access to learning centres. However, significant challenges remain. The quality of education requires further improvement. According to the Early Warning Alert and Response (EWARS) in 2019, the main causes of health consultations were acute respiratory infection (20 per cent of consultations) followed by acute watery diarrhoea (5 per cent of consultations). Both heavily affected children under five. Shelters made of bamboo and tarpaulin remain highly susceptible to fire and damage during monsoons and cyclones. While access to water has improved, there are persistent issues with quality – 70 per cent of household water samples are contaminated.3 Overall vulnerability and social tensions in host communities require additional investments and a district-wide approach.