The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has renewd its calls on the international community to take urgent action in order to ensure long-term development and sustainable humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees and the host communities.
On the occasion of five-year anniversary of Rohingya exodus in Bangladesh, on 25 August, IOM said, "International and local humanitarian actors must continue to support the response led by the Government of Bangladesh to enable the Rohingya to live a dignified life while in displacement."
25 August marks five years since the first of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya men, women, boys, and girls fled violence and persecution in Myanmar and sought refuge in what is now the world's largest refugee settlement in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
Nearly one million Rohingya refugees - more than a half of who are children - remain in the congested camps. The Government of Bangladesh along with IOM and humanitarian partners deliver life-saving aid and basic services to these people.
"Although Bangladesh has generously hosted Rohingya refugees for the last five years, one country cannot and should not bear this responsibility alone," IOM noted in a media release.
"With limited access to earn a living, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh remain fully reliant on humanitarian assistance," IOM said adding, "Groups or persons with specific needs, such as persons with disabilities, female-headed households, or people without access to livelihood opportunities, reported the most significant unmet needs, leaving them vulnerable to negative coping strategies, such as human smuggling and trafficking. "
Criminal trafficking networks employ different tactics to lure refugees to work outside the camp and abroad using false pretenses, coercion and abduction. As the lead agency on counter-trafficking in Cox's Bazar, IOM has identified and assisted more than 1,300 victims of trafficking.
IOM vowed to continue providing shelter, protection, mental health and psychosocial services, and water and hygiene support.
It is also working to implement disaster risk reduction initiatives to mitigate the impacts of climate change in Bangladesh.
With the current monsoon season already causing historic flooding in northeastern Bangladesh, heavy rainfall where the camps are located could pose further hazards to the Rohingya in their temporary homes made from tarpaulin sheets and bamboo. In 2021, heavy monsoon rains in the camps caused immense flooding incidents that affected nearly 30,000 people; 19,000 were once again displaced and lost their homes.
The Rohingya themselves have played a central role in the humanitarian response. From volunteering to support fire and cyclone response to door-to-door outreach to raise awareness of Covid-19 prevention measures, the community has led efforts across the camps to support each other.
The organisation stressed on empowering the community futher through expanded access to education, skills development and livelihoods.