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Bangladesh map
UNICEF photo: crowd of men, woman and children in and at the edge of a body of water © UNICEF Bangladesh/2017/LeMoyne In October 2017, Rohingya refugees cross into Bangladesh at Palong Khali in Cox's Bazar District.


In 2018, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children received psychosocial support

1.1 million

people aged 1 year and above received oral cholera vaccine


people have access to safe drinking water and culturally appropriate sanitation facilities

2018 Requirements: US$144,600,000

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Total affected population: 1.2 million
Total affected children (<18): 720,0001

Total people to be reached in 2018: 1.2 million
Total children to be reached in 2018: 720,000

Renewed violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which began on 25 August 2017, has driven 655,000 Rohingya—a long discriminated against community in Myanmar—into Bangladesh.2 With this new influx, the total number of Rohingya refugees and local affected communities in Bangladesh in need of humanitarian assistance has reached 1.2 million.3 An estimated 58 per cent of the new arrivals are children.4 The Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar are highly vulnerable, with many having experienced severe trauma and living in extremely difficult conditions in overcrowded camps. Existing basic services for refugees and host communities have been overwhelmed due to this sudden and massive increase in the population. The high population density in unsanitary camps has increased the risk of disease outbreaks and 1.2 million people urgently require water and sanitation services.5 The nutrition situation is also of concern, with 3 per cent of children suffering from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition (SAM).6 An estimated 400,000 Rohingya children are also in need of psychosocial support and other protection and education services.7

Humanitarian strategy

2018 programme targets


  • 50,119 children under 5 with SAM treated
  • 50,780 pregnant and lactating women received infant and young child feeding counselling
  • 198,868 children received vitamin A


  • 112,132 children aged 0 to 23 months received all the childhood vaccines
  • 1.1 million people aged 1 year and above received oral cholera vaccine
  • 26,400 pregnant women received HIV testing and counselling


  • 600,000 people have access to safe drinking water and culturally appropriate sanitation facilities
  • 450,000 people received key hygiene messages and supplies

Child protection

  • 350,000 children received psychosocial support
  • 10,000 unaccompanied and separated children received case management services
  • 90,000 adolescents received life-skills support


  • 305,315 children aged 4 to 14 enrolled in non-formal/formal education, including early learning
  • 120,000 adolescents aged 14 to 18 enrolled in non-formal/formal education including life-skills and technical and vocational education training

Communication for Development/accountability mechanisms

  • 600,000 people reached with key messages and demonstrating key lifesaving behaviours and practices

In Bangladesh, UNICEF’s overall strategy will be to strengthen government systems to provide basic social services to refugees and host communities, using a district-specific approach.8 The most urgent priorities are to prevent any increase in mortality and morbidity and prevent outbreaks of communicable diseases among refugees and host communities. These aims will be achieved through the provision of safe water, sanitation and washing facilities; SAM treatment; vaccination against preventable diseases; and preparedness for acute watery diarrhoea/cholera outbreaks. UNICEF will also be addressing the protection needs of the most vulnerable groups, children and women through prevention of abuse, sexual and gender-based violence and by supporting case management, psychosocial support and the provision of basic education. UNICEF will strengthen its adolescent programming by providing a minimum package for adolescent health and focusing support on married adolescent girls. Cash and vouchers will be used to further strengthen nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection and gender-based violence interventions. UNICEF will continue to work closely with local government departments and will lead or co-lead the WASH, education and nutrition sectors and the child protection sub-sector. UNICEF will also strengthen its own and partner capacities for emergency preparedness for both epidemics and natural hazards.

Results from 2017

As of 31 October 2017, UNICEF had US$15.1 million available against the US$76.1 million appeal (20 per cent funded).9 Due to the limited funding, UNICEF advanced US$11 million from its internal Emergency Programme Fund to ensure timely response and allow for the scale up of humanitarian assistance. UNICEF met or exceeded its targets for measles vaccination (222 per cent); oral cholera vaccination (99.9 per cent); SAM treatment (101 per cent); pregnant and lactating women reached with counselling on infant young child feeding (111 per cent); and pregnant women receiving antenatal consultations (120 per cent). Since 25 August, UNICEF has reached nearly 229,000 people with clean water (51 per cent); more than 343,000 people with appropriate latrines and washing facilities (76 per cent) and over 197,000 people with hygiene messages (44 per cent). Nearly 242,000 children and pregnant and lactating women received micronutrient supplementation (72 per cent); nearly 104,000 children received psychosocial support and child protection services through child-friendly and adolescent-safe spaces (58 per cent); 1,825 unaccompanied and separated children were identified and received case management services; nearly 28,000 adolescent boys and girls gained life skills (80 per cent); and nearly 47,000 children are attending UNICEF-supported learning centres (23 per cent).

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Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$144,600,00010 to meet the immediate lifesaving, protection and education needs of Rohingya refugees and host communities in 2018. This appeal was developed prior to the upcoming inter-agency Joint Response Plan for 2018 and will therefore be revised later to align fully with that plan. Without additional funding, UNICEF will be unable to provide essential WASH, health, nutrition, protection and education services to Rohingya refugees and host communities. Given Bangladesh's high level of risk for natural hazards, lack of funding will also diminish the humanitarian system's capacity to prepare for and respond to sudden onset disasters/epidemics.

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1 Calculated based on children making up an estimated 58 per cent of the affected population.
2 Inter Sector Coordination Group situation update of 14 December 2017.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 UNICEF preliminary nutrition assessment findings, November 2017.
7 Children in need of psychosocial support represent approximately 55 per cent of the total children under 18 in need of assistance.
8 UNICEF will also continue to monitor the implementation of the arrangement recently signed between the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar on the return of Rohingya and will adjust its response accordingly.
9 Available funds include US$14.7 million raised against the current appeal and US$390,540 carried forward from the previous year.
10 The 2018 Humanitarian Action for Children requirement supersedes the 2017 UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children - Bangladesh Rohingya response covering the period from September 2017 to February 2018. The 2018 appeal takes into consideration the US$25.3 million requirement for the first two months of 2018 from the 2017 Humanitarian Action for Children appeal.