In 2020, IOM will continue to provide life-saving and sustaining assistance that meets the needs of Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, while strengthening early recovery and preparedness initiatives to prevent further crises.
2020 will bring greater links with local partners through localization efforts and sustainability-driven development. IOM will extend and expand programming that addresses the concerns and vulnerabilities of host communities.
Systematic discrimination, coupled with a significant spike in targeted violence in August 2017, caused the large-scale exodus of Rohingya from Rakhine State, Myanmar into Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Over 700,000 individuals (more than 400,000 of them children) arrived in Cox’s Bazar over the span of only a few months, bringing the total Rohingya population in the region to over 900,000. Over two years later, the majority of Rohingya still rely almost entirely on aid from the international community and on the hospitality of the Government of Bangladesh.
The mass displacement of 2017 has overwhelmed the existing response capacity and put immense strain on infrastructure, services, resources and the local environment. Tensions between the host and refugee communities are likely to increase over time as pressure on local resources and the economy continues to pose challenges.
IOM, as a key actor on the ground alongside national and international partners, has responded to the Rohingya crisis through continuing to provide emergency support through the provision of critical humanitarian and life-saving assistance.
In 2020, the overarching priorities of IOM will include upholding the protection needs of the Rohingya as well as improving the quality of and access to humanitarian services. IOM will likewise continue to provide support to the most vulnerable host community members, mitigating the impact of the refugee influx on the local environment. IOM will also remain actively engaged in addressing human trafficking, as well as cross-cutting concerns such as protection, gender-based violence (GBV) and accountability to affected populations (AAP).