Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee from their homes in Myanmar. Since August 2017, 688 000 Rohingya refugees have sought protection in Cox’s Bazar district, Bangladesh, increasing the area’s refugee population to nearly one million. The majority live in highly congested makeshift settlements and camps.
More than six months into the latest Rohingya exodus, people continue to flee from Myanmar into Bangladesh fearing for their lives in search of safety.
The majority of the new arrivals are redirected by the authorities to the Sabrang entry point, in the south of Cox’s Bazar peninsula.
On 7 March 2018, 88 families for a total of 332 people arrived to Sabrang in different groups. Some of them mentioned that between 600 and 1,000 others were waiting to get a boat across the Naf river. Rohingya refugees arriving are exhausted and traumatized.
Having fled indescribable violence in Myanmar, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh must now contend with new dangers: precarious living conditions, the upcoming rainy season and fears for personal safety after dark.
Both women and men in the settlement report feeling unsafe at night because of precarious shelter conditions, overcrowding, and the near-total absence of lighting after dark. Female-headed households, unmarried women, and unaccompanied children are particularly vulnerable, and MSF teams have heard reports of human trafficking.