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Bangladesh map
UNICEF photo: 4 girls smile for the camera © UNICEF Bangladesh/2018/Sujan In October, Rohingya girls attend a UNICEF-supported learning centre. The girls are eager to learn new things in their classes and do not miss their lessons.


In 2019, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children, including adolescents, received mental health and psychosocial support


children aged 0 to 11 months received pentavalent 3 vaccine


people benefiting from safe water to agreed standards that meets domestic demands

2019 Requirements: US$152,509,303

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Total affected population: 1.2 million7
Total affected children (<18): 683,000 (341,000 girls and 342,000 boys)8

Total people to be reached: 685,5749
Total children to be reached: 438,07410

Since August 2017, more than 730,000 Rohingya, including 400,000 children, have fled violence in Myanmar and settled in Cox’s Bazar District, Bangladesh.1 Since then, with the support of the Government and humanitarian partners, refugees have gained access to basic services. The refugees remain highly dependent on short-term aid, however, and are living in precarious conditions, particularly in congested camps. The congested conditions and poor knowledge of hygiene practices continue to put camp inhabitants at high risk of disease. Over 6,000 children identified as unaccompanied and separated are at risk of trafficking, early marriage and sexual exploitation.2 Twenty-three per cent of girls and 57 per cent of women feel unsafe when using latrines.3 Despite the significant progress made towards increasing access to emergency education, 39 per cent of children and 97 per cent of adolescents still lack access to learning opportunities. Adolescents and youth face specific risks4 that are exacerbated by the lack of education, occupational training and safe livelihood opportunities. Parts of Bangladesh, including Cox’s Bazar, are regularly threatened by cyclones and monsoon flooding. Nationally, 60 per cent of the country is vulnerable to floods. Cyclones and storm surges are common in coastal areas, with devastating effects on local populations.

Humanitarian strategy

2019 programme targets


  • 24,500 children under 5 years with SAM admitted for treatment
  • 191,074 children aged 6 to 59 months received vitamin A


  • 105,152 children aged 0 to 11 months received pentavalent 3 vaccine
  • 3,200 sick newborns treated


  • 550,000 people benefiting from safe water to agreed standards that meets domestic demands
  • 550,000 people benefiting from functional latrines to agreed standards

Child protection and gender-based violence

  • 160,000 children, including adolescents, received mental health and psychosocial support
  • 46,930 adolescents received lifeskills education
  • 27,000 adolescent girls and women provided with gender-based violence prevention and response services


  • 272,000 children aged 4 to 14 years accessed formal or non-formal education, including early learning
  • 52,000 adolescents aged 15 to 18 years participated in skills development programmes for learning, personal empowerment and/or employability

Communication for development/ accountability mechanisms11

  • 825,000 people reached through messaging and dialogue (houseto- house) on key life-saving behaviours and referrals to services with a focus on health, nutrition, WASH, education and child protection
  • 50,000 people accessing mechanisms for voicing their needs/concerns, including feedback and complaint mechanisms

UNICEF’s humanitarian response in Bangladesh is aligned with the 2019 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya crisis. In cooperation with the Government and partners, UNICEF will continue to link its humanitarian response and development programmes to achieve sustainable results. In 2019, UNICEF will deliver life-saving, multi-sectoral services wherever possible, while strengthening national service delivery and promoting social cohesion in host communities. This includes providing water and sanitation; providing health services for children and pregnant women; facilitating treatment for children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM); supporting access to quality education;5 reaching children affected by violence, abuse and neglect with prevention and assistance; and preventing gender and sexual violence and supporting survivors. The specific needs of adolescents will be prioritized, particularly their access to education, health care, occupational and lifeskills training and participation opportunities. UNICEF will continue to invest in preparedness, accountability to affected populations and gender-based violence mitigation. Where agreed with the Government, cash assistance will be linked to social protection measures. Lessons learned in Cox’s Bazar will be used to strengthen government service delivery across Bangladesh. UNICEF will continue to lead the nutrition sector and the child protection subsector, and co-lead the education and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sectors.

Results from 2018

As of 31 October 2018, UNICEF had received US$116.7 million against the US$149.8 million appeal (78 per cent funded).6 UNICEF achieved remarkable results for children and affected populations, especially in camp settings, and strengthened its work in host communities. The emphasis on WASH activities, particularly the establishment of diarrhoeal treatment centres and the delivery of strong behaviour change communication messaging, contributed to averting a potentially major cholera epidemic. The establishment of more than 1,300 learning centres provided education opportunities for more than 70 per cent of targeted school-aged children. Nutrition Action Week allowed for the screening of over 149,000 children, with more than 1,000 children referred for SAM treatment. UNICEF also scaled up efforts across all programme areas to provide children and adolescents with opportunities for a better future. With UNICEF support, the education sector developed a learning framework for pre-primary through Grade 8 that will provide standardized teaching and learning for refugee children. A learning framework for adolescents is under development. In host communities, UNICEF is implementing a tailored strategy in close cooperation with and through government systems. Although results in host communities were initially low, enhanced efforts will be made throughout 2019 to achieve planning goals.

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Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$152.5 million to meet the lifesaving and humanitarian-development needs of Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi host communities. This includes the provision of essential nutrition, health, WASH, protection and education services. Given the country’s high level of risk for natural hazards, the humanitarian system’s capacity to prepare for and respond to sudden-onset disasters/ epidemics will be supported throughout the country. This appeal includes UNICEF’s share of US$113.7 million required under the 2019 Joint Response Plan, as well as an additional US$38.8 million needed to strengthen UNICEF’s humanitarian and development work in Cox’s Bazar District and strengthen emergency preparedness elements countrywide.

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1 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘2019 Joint Response Plan for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis’ (draft), OCHA, 2018. The 2019 Joint Response Plan was not finalized/published at the time of writing this appeal. The appeal may be updated to be aligned with the published 2019 Joint Response Plan, once finalized.
2 Child protection sector 5W (monitoring tool), as of 11 October 2018.
3 REACH household survey conducted in June 2018.
4 According to the protection sector, adolescents face specific risks, exacerbated by the absence of education, vocational training and safe livelihood opportunities. Early or forced marriage is a negative coping mechanism with some girls marrying as young as 12. Boys are at heightened risk of child labour, exploitation and trafficking. Agencies continue to monitor the worst forms of child labour, involving children as young as 7 years old being recruited into abusive and exploitative work.
5 In addition to continuing to improve access to education, in 2019, UNICEF will focus on strengthening the quality aspects of education. The Learning Competency Framework and Approach (LCFA) for levels 1 through 4 (equivalent to pre-primary to Grade 8) will be rolled out, including the development, printing and distribution of new teaching and learning materials for Rohingya children enrolled in learning centres. UNICEF will also focus on strengthening the quality of teaching, building the capacities of teachers to deliver lessons according to the LCFA and training them to assess and group children according to their competencies. Contact hours between teachers and students will be increased accordingly. Furthermore, learning centres will adopt more sustainable designs subject to government approval in 2019.
6 Available funds include US$77.2 million received against the 2018 appeal and US$39.5 million carried forward from the previous year.
7 This includes 899,000 refugees in camps, 7,000 refugees living in host communities and 336,000 affected people from host communities. ‘2019 Joint Response Plan for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis’ (draft).
8 Fifty-five per cent of the population in need is children, according to ‘2019 Joint Response Plan for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis’ (draft).
9 This figure is a combination of 45 per cent of the target for water and sanitation for adults (247,500) and the vitamin A (191,074 children aged 6 to 59 months) and education (247,000 children aged 5 to 18 years) targets.
10 This figure is a combination of the vitamin A (191,074 children aged 6 to 59 months) and education (247,000 children aged 5 to 18 years) targets.
11 Only face-to-face interventions are included.
12 It was agreed at inter-agency level and with partners, that preparedness measures and related funding are necessary to deal with the recurrent and potentially severe impact of the monsoon/cyclone season.