Thousands of vulnerable people have been affected after a fire ripped through the world’s largest and most densely populated refugee camp yesterday. Nearly one million people live in temporary shelters on the hillsides in Cox’s Bazar Rohingya Response Refugee Camp, Bangladesh. World Vision has since activated an emergency response plan to provide immediate support to the affected people, especially children who have lost their homes and loved ones in this devastating incident.
Atul Mrong, Operations Director, Rohingya Crisis Response, explained: “World Vision’s staff have been on the ground, providing emergency relief for refugees who have lost their homes and belongings in the fire. Since the start of the incident, we have distributed high-energy biscuits to 10,031 households (5kgs each) provided by WFP. Some of World Vision’s education centres and multipurpose centres have been converted to emergency shelters. We are working closely with the government, UN-clusters, partners and peers on a coordinated response to help rebuild the lives of those affected by this fire”.
"I saw smoke coming rising from another side of the hill. People were shouting and panicking. I rescued my siblings and went to Thaingkhali camp to save ourselves," says 11-year-old Baitullah, as he looks at the now charred remains of his home, having already lost his home once in Myanmar.
Response Director, Rohingya Crisis Response, World Vision Bangladesh, Fredrick Christopher, shared: "The Rohingya refugees are among the most vulnerable people in the world. They have been living with ongoing uncertainty, storms and the threat of disease outbreaks since fleeing their homes in 2017. This fire is the last thing that they need at a time when shelter is critical for protection from the impending monsoon season, and COVID-19 is threatening to circulate around the crowded camps at an alarming rate. An unforgiving incident like this just deepens the sense of hopelessness in the hearts of everyone here at Cox’s Bazar. World Vision will spare no effort in continuing to mobilise all our resources to help the Rohingya children and families during this extraordinarily challenging time."
Notes to the Editor
For more information or schedule interviews, please contact:
Tony Michael Gomes | Director, Communications, Advocacy and External Engagement, World Vision Bangladesh Tony Michael Gomes firstname.lastname@example.org | +88 01730344020
About World Vision’s Rohingya Refugee Response
On the ground since the beginning of the refugee crisis in 2017, World Vision is caring for 265,000 Rohingya people in 23 sub-camps and in neighbouring host communities. World Vision is focused on providing life-sustaining support for refugees that includes food distribution, nutrition programmes, WASH services, child protection and more. We are also advocating for the protection and rights of all refugees, including their safe, voluntary and dignified repatriation to Myanmar. We have more than 400 staff and 400 volunteers working hard to serve these large number of people.