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More than 742,000 Rohingya were forced to seek refuge in Bangladesh after fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in 2017.


of Rohingya refugees living in Kutupalong and Nayapara refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh are women and children.


Rohingya lost their shelters and all of their belongings in a fire that devastated parts of the Kutupalong refugee camp in March 2021.

About the Rohingya Crisis

The Rohingya people have suffered decades of violence, discrimination and persecution in Myanmar - previously know as Burma. As a Muslin ethnic minority living in a predominantly Buddhist country, the Rohingya are not recognized as an official ethnic group and have been denied citizenship since 1982. They are one of the largest stateless populations in the world.

Since the early 1990s, the Rohingya have fled successive waves of violence in Myanmar. Their largest and fastest exodus began in August 2017 when violence broke out in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, driving more than 742,000 people to seek refuge in Bangladesh - the majority of whom were women and children. 

Today, more than 880,000 Rohingya refugees have settled in and around Kutupalong and Nayapara refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar region - which have grown to become the largest and most densely populated camps in the world. Conditions in the camps are challenging and local infrastructure and services have been stretched to their limits. The United Nations has described the Rohingya as “the most persecuted minority in the world.”


Rohingya refugees are fleeing Myanmar at a staggering rate

What is UNHCR doing to help Rohingya refugees?

The UN Refugee Agency has been working with partners in support of the Bangladeshi government to ensure an adequate response to the growing humanitarian needs and the protection of Rohingya refugees. Some of UNHCR’s activities in the field include the registration of more than 850,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, the distribution of shelter and lifesaving relief items -such as blankets, plastic sheets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets and jerry cans - as well as as supporting the construction of water and sanitation facilities. Education, healthcare and activities to prevent sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) have also been a key priority to UNHCR.

During the monsoon season, which falls from June to October each year, UNHCR supports activities to mitigate the effects of the torrential rains, which include helping refugees reinforce their shelters, relocating those who are in dangerous locations and conducting improvements to drainage systems and slope stabilization work.

Learn more about What We Do.


Stories from the Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Rohingya Refugee Crisis Explained


UNHCR rushing support and aid to Rohingya refugees affected by last week’s massive fire

See all stories about the Rohingya refugee crisis >

Rohingya Refugee Camps and Settlements

Portrait of Rohingya family sitting inside their shelter in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh
Portrait of Rohingya family sitting inside their shelter
in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh

  • The vast majority of Rohingya refugees have found refuge in camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Approximately 75 percent of refugees arrived in 2017, joining another 200,000 who had fled Myanmar in previous years. 
  • Rohingya communities estimate that up to three-quarters of the Rohingya people are living outside of Myanmar, and of those who remain in Myanmar, approximately 142,000 are internally displaced (IDP) and confined to closed IDP camps.
  • Kutupalong refugee settlement includes approximately 26 subcamps, which host more than 880,000 Rohingya refugees. 52 percent of refugees are women and children. 
  • 9,500 shelters and 1600 vital services facilities were destroyed in the massive fire that broke out in the Kutupalong refugee camp on March 22, 2021.


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