Heavy rains threaten thousands of refugees
Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – 15 July 2019 – Heavy and sustained rains for the past 10 days have caused extensive damage in the world’s largest refugee camp, with an estimated 22,000 people affected.
Kutupalong Refugee Camp, which is built on sandy hills with little protection from the elements, is particularly vulnerable to rains and wind, especially during the monsoon season.
Multiple landslides, flooding, injuries, and at least two deaths have been reported so far.
“What we have seen in the past few days is extremely concerning,” said Carl Adams, Director of Medair’s programme in Bangladesh. “Hundreds of shelters have been damaged, leaving families even more vulnerable. While everyone involved in the response has been doing all they can to mitigate the risks, the threat of heavy rains and wind causing further damage to the camp is still very real. If a cyclone were to hit the camp directly, the consequences would likely be devastating.”
Since April, Medair teams have been distributing transitional shelter kits to reinforce existing shelters in anticipation of the monsoon season, to help keep families safe.
Due to the weather, Medair has now activated its emergency shelter response, distributing emergency kits to families whose shelters are in need of urgent repairs. Particularly vulnerable families, such as single mothers or people with a disability, are also given assistance to repair their homes.
Medair, in partnership with World Concern, is responsible for the emergency shelter response in a part of the camp which covers over 7,000 households.
“We are still more than two months away from the end of the monsoon season. It’s very difficult to anticipate what will happen but we always have to prepare for the worst,” added Carl. “International attention around this crisis has waned, but people here are still very much hurting. Funding has decreased, but needs remain immense, even more so in these very challenging weather conditions. Until a political solution is reached, there is no end in sight to this crisis.”
Media enquiries should be directed to:
- Jonathan Kyle, Regional Communications Officer (Bangladesh): +880 13 0685 4459
- Paola Barioli, Press Officer (Switzerland): is +41 78 635 30 95
For regular updates, please check medair.org or our twitter feeds @MedairInt, @MedairAsia, and @MedairPress.
Medair is an international humanitarian NGO that provides emergency relief and recovery services to families made vulnerable by natural disasters, conflicts, and other crises. Medair is currently active in 10 countries. In Bangladesh, Medair works in partnership with World Concern
This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and Global Support Office staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.