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Deadly floods, landslides hit Rohingyas

  • Published at 10:42 pm July 28th, 2021
Rohingya camp flooded after heavy rainfall - Reuters - 27 July 2021
A man walks in a flooded street after heavy monsoon rains triggered flooding at Kutapalong refugee camp, in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 Reuters

Over 12,000 refugees affected, an estimated 2,500 shelters damaged or destroyed

Three days of heavy monsoon rains and strong winds have pelted massive refugee sites in Cox’s Bazar, causing flash floods and landslides.

According to initial reports, more than 12,000 refugees have been affected while an estimated 2,500 shelters have been damaged or destroyed, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Wednesday night.

The adverse weather, latest landslides and floods further exacerbate the suffering and massive humanitarian needs of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

To date, the 2021 Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh has received only $274 million, roughly 30% of the $943 million required for the response this year.

In the last 24 hours alone, over 300mm of rain fell on camps hosting more than 800,000 Rohingya refugees.

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That’s nearly half the monthly rainfall average for July in one day. More heavy downpours are expected in the next few days with the monsoon season stretching over the next three months.

The situation is further compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. There is currently a strict national lockdown in response to rising cases across the country.

In support of the government-led response, UNHCR’s network of emergency response teams have been deployed, to provide immediate support and assistance to affected families and to those forced to temporarily relocate.

Teams are also assessing the damage to shelters and initiating immediate shelter repairs and site improvements. Ensuring access to essential services for all those affected is another priority.

Refugee volunteers trained by UNHCR, and partners are also working day and night in heavy rain to help families in urgent need. In some cases, this has involved rescuing refugees from shelters destroyed by landslides. So far, more than 5,000 refugees have temporarily relocated to other family member’s shelters or communal facilities.