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Forgotten crises: Supporting the Rohingya and host communities in Bangladesh

In August 2017, an outbreak of massive violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state forced the Rohingya, a stateless minority, to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. More than a million Rohingya refugees still live in camps near Cox's Bazar. The effects of climate change are making conditions on the ground even more difficult - this is where our project with local partner GUK comes in.

The picture shows a woman wearing a headscarf and holding a small boy.
More than one million Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since 2017, including many women and children.

At the beginning of the crisis, the focus was on acute care for refugees. Great efforts were made to improve living conditions in the camps. Since then, however, a number of challenges have arisen, related to increasing uncertainty about the future and the lack of livelihoods. In addition, the region is increasingly exposed to the effects of climate change, which is having a severe impact on the host communities.

Our local partner organisation, GUK (Gana Unnayan Kendra), has long experience in the region and specialises in climate change adaptation and livelihood support for vulnerable communities. The joint project aims to create stable livelihoods for refugees and host communities by September 2025. Training in a range of agricultural and non-agricultural activities will provide essential skills, such as vegetable gardening and tailoring. To build resilience to disasters, people will continue to receive intensive training in water and hygiene, fire safety and emergency response. Initiatives will also be launched to manage emergency shelters and disseminate cyclone early warning systems. 900 highly vulnerable families inside and outside the refugee camps will benefit directly from the project.

"What is special about this project is that we are involving both the Rohingya refugees and the host community. As a result of the vocational training, some of the beneficiaries, including many women, have already opened their own small businesses in the community and are earning a stable income".

"Such successes motivate us as an organisation. We believe that promoting disaster preparedness, opening up income-generating initiatives and sensitising communities on WASH and gender-based violence are essential to enable residents to live in dignity".

Muntasir Alam, Project Manager at GUK (right).


Place/Region Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Partner GUK (Gana Unnayan Kendra)
  • Provision of training in agricultural and non-agricultural activities and start-up support
  • Education and training on climate change adaptation, emergency preparedness, WASH and gender-based violence
  • Construction of sanitation and hygiene facilities
  • Planting tree seedlings
  • Emergency support
Duration 1.10.2023-30.09.2025
Budget 249.976 Euro
Sponsor Aktion Deutschland Hilft, AWO International

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