Bangladesh and Burma: the Rohingya crisis Contents

5Supporting refugees and the host community

World Humanitarian Summit Communique: We will promote a new approach to displaced people, which will enable them to receive protection and assistance close to their homes. Where people have to flee, we will help create and provide possible earning opportunities and education at all levels as well as health services for refugees and host communities [ … ] We recognise the need to make effective use of financing instruments such as pooled funds for humanitarian assistance. We recognise also the need to secure commitments to tackle unprecedented forced displacement and to match lifesaving assistance with longer-term support for livelihoods and education[ … ] We welcome in particular the World Bank’s new financing initiatives to support refugees and host communities [ … ]recognising the global public good that countries with large refugee populations provide across Africa and Asia, and we will explore additional financing with countries that have large refugee populations.

New York Declaration: Support those countries rescuing, receiving and hosting large numbers of refugees and migrants; education within a few months; strengthen migrant’s contributions to hosts’ economic and social development.

The challenge

69.The Bangladesh government has stated that rather than grant refugee status to the displaced Rohingya people, it wants to work instead toward the “safe, dignified, voluntary return of its nationals back to their homes in Myanmar … ”137 We recognise that there is a conundrum at the heart of even the most positive and welcoming response by a host country to a large displacement of people, let alone one of the unprecedented scale and speed seen over the last six months by Bangladesh. The crux of this is the question of how long is the hosting going to be required? And what will be the effect on that period of the kind of genuinely effective accommodation and services and integration which, any civilised and well-supported country would want to be able to provide? The World Humanitarian Summit Communique seeks to strike a balance between “safe, dignified, and durable solutions for refugees” while recognising that “voluntary return to the places of origin under stable conditions is the overarching goal” and, indeed, point 3 of the UK’s 5-Point Plan for the Rohingya is that they be allowed “to return to Burma in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner”. We examine this issue in Chapter 6.

Current provision and next steps

70.Bangladesh’s Deputy High Commissioner told us “We are thinking of building approximately 150,000 houses. With an average family size of five, that should be able to accommodate them. We would also provide the basic needs of healthcare, education and other things” and he went on to emphasise “That is where we will need a massive amount of international support.” He also added “we are all hoping that it is not going to be a long-term thing.”138

Scale of needs

71.At the end of October, the Humanitarian Response Plan issued by the Inter Sector Coordination Group leading the provision for the Rohingya in Bangladesh, estimated there were 1.2 million people needing health services, 1.2 million people estimated to need water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance over the next five months, 700,000 people in need of site management assistance, and 605,000 refugees in need of emergency food assistance. Other large scale needs include an estimated 448,000 people who will need gender-based violence services over the next five months, an estimated 363,000 children who will need protection services over the same period, and 412,000 children needing access to safe learning spaces. However this was based on the 509,000 refugees who had arrived by that date with a contingency for 91,000 extra. The number of refugees who have arrived in Bangladesh since August has now reached 655,500.139

2017 Humanitarian Response Plan September 2017-February 2018

UN emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock, of OCHA, said at the Geneva pledging conference that “the needs are growing at a faster pace than our ability to meet them”.140

72.The IOM latest update of 14 December says that 70,000 people have been reached with latrines, 118,000 patients have been reached with primary healthcare and 91,500 have benefited from protection assistance. Whilst this is commendable it shows the extent of the challenge when so few of the overall population are yet to benefit.141

73.Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh reported in December that only 34% of the $434 million needed to provide assistance to 1.2 million people, including host communities, had been raised:

Humanitarian partners are working around the clock to respond, but the reality remains that the needs are massive and urgent, and the gaps are wide. More funding is needed. Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, but more land is needed to improve conditions in the congested camps.142

Almost three quarters of the refugees are living in areas with population densities of less than 15 square metres per person—far below even the bare minimum international guidelines for refugee camps: 30 to 45 square metres per person. The IOM monitoring report in December notes that even 20 square metres per person would still not allow room for crucial infrastructure like water and waste treatment facilities and even that would be “far from being attainable,” as at least 120,000 people would have to be moved for that threshold. It was also found more than one third of the 33,000 latrines installed in the camps were already unusable and more than 90 percent of household water sources in the camps were contaminated with E. coli bacteria, following testing by government health officials and the WHO.143

The UK’s contribution

74.At the Geneva Pledging Conference144 for the Rohingya crisis on 23 October 2017, the UK pledged $63,087,248 (£47 million) which was the largest single pledge, and substantially more than either the next two largest donations by the EU ($42.5 million) and the US ($38 million). DFID explained that, since 25 August 2017, when the recent exodus from Burma started, the UK had announced a total of £59 million for humanitarian assistance to the current crisis. This total figure is broken down in the table below.




SHPR existing budget

£5 million

8 September 2017

New funding

£25 million

14 September 2017

UK Aid Match to DEC appeal

£5 million

2 October (£3 million)

9 October (£2 million)

New funding

£12 million

23 October 2017

Interim total announced at Geneva Pledging Conference145

£47 million

23 October 2017

SHPR existing budget

£4 million

November 2017

New funding

£8 million

27 November 2017

Total UK funding

£59 million

As of December 2017

75.DFID’s ‘SHPR’ — Strengthening Humanitarian Preparedness and Response — programme for Bangladesh was approved in July 2016 for the period from 2016 to 2021. Its budget was increased in July 2017 following severe flooding across Bangladesh and a previous influx of approximately 87,000 Rohingya refugees. The SHPR programme includes contingency funding for responding to emergencies. In line with the announcement of 8 September, £5m was released from these existing funds to partners for the rapid scaling-up of assistance.

76.In addition, the then Secretary of State, Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, announced £25 million of new funding for the humanitarian response to the Rohingya refugee crisis on 14 September 2017 and added £12 million of new funding for the humanitarian response to the Rohingya refugee crisis at the Pledging Conference in Geneva. The UK Government also matched £5 million raised by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeal as announced on 2 and 9 October. This then represents the total UK pledged allocation of £47 million announced by the UN after the Geneva conference.

77.On 27 November 2017, the new Secretary of State, Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, announced additional funding of £12 million to support the humanitarian response. £4 million of this is already included in the SHPR business case and budget, but was not previously announced. £8 million is new funding from a centrally managed humanitarian response pool.

78.Finally, there will also be access for organisations supporting Rohingya women and girls to the UN Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence against Women (UNTF) in support of its strategic vision for 2015–20 to tackle gender based violence globally. The Fund supports local, national, regional and cross-regional programmes to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against women and girls in all contexts, including sexual violence in conflict situations. It provides funding for proven, innovative and catalytic multi-year programmes, and seeks to award grants to organisations that place survivors at the centre of their interventions. The programmes are mainly implemented by civil society organisations, with the bulk of grants going to small women-led, organisations. DFID will provide up to £12 million over the next three years to the Fund (having been a donor since 2014). This global funding is separate to the £59 million for humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya crisis. All applications to UNTF are subject to review by expert evaluators and DFID expects to have details of new grantees selected for the current tranche of funding in the second quarter of 2018.

79.However, as Minister Burt made clear to us:

Let me put the politics on the record first. Our ability to respond at present cannot possibly match the scale of the problem.146

80.We welcome the UK Government’s swift action and, given the emerging evidence of the level of need, we commend the practical approach taken to the provision of a substantial sum early in the crisis. As part of any reply to this report, we would appreciate a sense of the Government’s on-going financial commitment.


81.The lead agency for the humanitarian response in Bangladesh is not the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, but the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which is not a traditional response coordination agency. We questioned why that was and the Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner told us:

We have a long history of co-operation with the IOM. You might be aware that we have a huge migrant population in the Middle East, and during the Gulf wars we had to bring back hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis who were working there. That was done with the support of the IOM. In 2015 we had some people leaving on boats, if you recall, and they were brought back with the help of the IOM. In other instances, whenever we had similar problems, the IOM was there to help us.147

82.The IRC told us it was deeply concerned and that there was “a really grave need for proper co-ordination, organisation and camp management” and that “ … appropriate co-ordination is vital in this context where things are changing at a very fast pace every day.” The IRC added:

Currently there is a cluster of services in the centre of the camp to which people would have to walk for approximately 45 to 60 minutes in the blazing sun in very muddy conditions, sometimes with all their children, to get essential services. 148

Dr Richard Montgomery from DFID, agreed with the IRC saying:

one of our big concerns, as the crisis continues to evolve, is better camp management. How do you deliver a coherent set of packages, not just shelter, food and water, but long-term sanitation, services such as safe spaces for women and non-formal education for kids? How do you ensure that the community gets this whole range of assistance?149

83.If the Bangladesh government’s motivation is to work with structures and personnel that are familiar then it would be less than impressive if the relevant UN agencies could not organise themselves to provide for this while ensuring that the right expertise is available, closer to the ground, to provide the required organisation of services. If Bangladesh prefers IOM to UNCHR on practical or presentational grounds linked to the status and future of the Rohingya, then that may be symptomatic of a more fundamental issue that will require attention and dialogue as realistic options for the short, medium and longer term future of the Rohingya refugees become clearer.

84.Recently there was evidence that, with staff seconded from OCHA, inter-UN agency and UN/NGO co-ordination in Bangladesh was improving.150

Registration of NGOs

85.IRC told us that one of the problems in running the camps was that the Bangladeshi Government had a lengthy bureaucratic process in place to grant permission for NGOs to operate in the main refugee area of Cox’s Bazar which meant that the IRC, and other NGOs, were not able to implement plans. Daphne Jayasinghe, of IRC, said:

Given that the capacity on the ground in Cox’s Bazar is currently outstripped by the scale of the emergency, there is an opportunity for the Bangladeshi Government to expedite the release of funds and the operation of international NGOs to enhance and complement the role of Bangladeshi civil society organisations.151

This was a problem recognised by Minister Burt and his officials who also asked for the Bangladesh government to extend permits for more than 3 months at a time and to speed up the process.

86.The Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner told us:

The presence of international NGOs is an advantage for us. The international NGOs are working on the ground, and we are happy to have them on our side.

However, I also must mention that it is kind of an unsettled situation. Because of that, we also must be very cautious regarding who is doing what, because there is always the possibility that, in the guise of non-Government actors, there could be some organisations that might be trying to create instability among the people. We are cautious about that.

The whole registration system is plain and simple. We have a dedicated office for NGO registration, and this has [always] been there, so we have not made any changes to those regulations. The registration system is a sort of formal documentation system to see the intent of the NGO and the area of the activities that they want to do and the sources of their funding. Those are the areas that the registration office looks at.

We have a well-established system because we have had NGOs working in Bangladesh since its independence. That system has been working well. Should there be any assistance that we might require, we would indicate that.152

87.We urge the UK Government to initiate a respectful discussion with counterparts in Bangladesh to identify whether there are any ways in which operations in Cox’s Bazar, or any other part of Bangladesh, can be speeded up and any unnecessary burdens of bureaucracy reduced, including the registration, and re-registration of NGOs seeking to render assistance to traumatised, displaced people.

Longer term plans

88.Before the recent arrival of refugees there were already 300,000 Rohingya refugees in the border area of Bangladesh around the town of Cox’s Bazaar. Many of them lived in the Kutupalong refugee camp. In September, Bangladesh allocated more land next to the existing camp for the new Rohingya arrivals and since then another substantial allocation has been set aside for the new camp known as the Kutupalong extension – the size of 2,000 football pitches. IRC describes this area as hilly terrain with less than a third of it appropriate for habitation. An alternative proposal appears to be to re-locate the Rohingya refugees on an island. We asked the Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Talha, about these plans.

The Kutupalong Extension

89. Mr Talha told us:

The Kutupalong Extension is very much on the cards, yes. We are thinking of that. There is an island we are also thinking of, given the number. As you know, Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world, if you leave aside the city states, so land is very scarce. What we are trying to do is we want to keep them in one location, so that all the services can be provided to them in that area.153

90.The UN has voiced criticisms applicable to any plan based around a single concentrated location. There are well-documented health and security risks of larger, and inevitably more crowded and harder to manage, temporary communities, including the likelihood of deadly diseases and fires spreading quickly. Robert Watkins, the UN resident coordinator in Dhaka, advised strongly that Bangladesh should instead look for multiple new sites to build more camps.

When you concentrate too many people into a very small area, particularly the people who are very vulnerable to diseases, it is dangerous … There are stronger possibilities, if there are any infectious diseases that spread, that will spread very quickly … It is much easier to manage people, manage the health situation and security situation if there are several different camps rather than one concentrated camp.154

Matthew Saltmarsh, from the UNHCR, told us:

There are at the same time significant challenges within the existing settlements. As you will know, Kutupalong Extension is now over 400,000 people and there was speculation previously that this might expand to 800,000 people. We would be extremely wary of that, because of all those issues that will go with the creation of such a mega site—the social issues, the environmental issues and the issues around crowding and sanitation. We are hopeful that it will not have to come to the point that this site must extend to that kind of size, but we will just have to see in terms of the numbers coming in in the weeks and months ahead.

In terms of what we can do to support the Bangladeshi Government, we are already working with them closely on infrastructure, so we are giving them money to help build roads, which the army, I understand, is taking care of. We are also spending money on infrastructure in terms of lighting.155

As of December 21, Doctors Without Borders has seen more than 2,000 suspected diphtheria cases in its health facilities, and the number has been rising daily. Most of the patients are between the ages of 5 and 14 years old. More than 20 Rohingya in Bangladesh have died from the disease. Dr. Navaratnasamy Paranietharan, the World Health Organization representative to Bangladesh said “This is an extremely vulnerable population with low vaccination coverage, living in conditions that could be a breeding ground for infectious diseases like cholera, measles, rubella and diphtheria.”156

91.Authorities in Bangladesh have responded with an immunisation campaign. This follows the mass cholera vaccination campaign in October–described as the second-largest oral vaccination campaign ever—reaching more than 700,000 people. In addition, approximately 350,000 people have received measles vaccinations.157 There had been over 600 suspected cases of measles reported by the end of October.158

92.The UK has sent a team of 40 doctors, nurses and firefighters to Cox’s Bazar – at the request of the World Health Organization. This is the first deployment of Britain’s emergency medical team (EMT) since it was certified by the World Health Organization in 2016. The staff, who come from different parts of the NHS across the UK, will be at the camps for six weeks working to fight the spread of diphtheria. The Secretary of State Rt Hon Penny Mordant MP said it was “absolutely right” for the UK to “step up” and help ease the suffering of the Rohingya families and that “This will be an absolutely critical deployment, in a race against time for men, women and children at risk of dying from one of the world’s cruellest infections.” The deployment will be funded from DFID’s Bangladesh humanitarian budget–up to £650,000 has been earmarked for the EMT.159

93.In contrast to the UN’s view, Bangladeshi officials have been reported as arguing that a single new location will help them better handle relief operations and manage security. The Bangladesh DHC told us:

… one of the reasons is that this is a very vulnerable community now, and we do not by any means want them to be radicalised in any way—and there have been attempts. We had to ban, actually, two NGOs that were found to be doing that. So unless we keep them in one place it will be extremely challenging for us to control who goes in there and control who they mix with. Unfortunately, that particular zone is in an area where a lot of smuggling takes place, including gun running. That is a region that is not easy to patrol, so it is important that we keep them all in one place—maybe in two or three different camps, as we have done on previous occasions.160

It seems that security is a primary motivating factor in Bangladesh’s priorities in determining a settlement pattern for the Rohingya refugees.

Thengar Char

94.Thengar Char is an island in the Bay of Bengal where the Bangladesh Government has been considering placing Rohingya refugees in large numbers. The use of Thengar Char also raises issues of scale also isolation. The island is two hours by boat from the nearest settlement and regularly floods during June-September monsoons. Currently it has no roads or buildings. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s political adviser H.T. Imam said: “We have requested international agencies for help for shifting the Rohingya temporarily into a place where they can live – an island called Thengar Char. Developing Thengar Char should be given serious consideration”.

95.The Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner sought to reassure us, saying that: “We do not want them to be like Robinson Crusoe. But if it is necessary for us to relocate them to Thengar Char, the necessary infrastructure will be developed first, before we transfer them. It is not that we are going to put this huge population on an island without any communication or basic support.”161 Bangladesh has since approved a $280-million project to develop the island to temporarily house 100,000 Rohingya, despite various criticisms.162 Borja Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director said that “It would be a terrible mistake to relocate the Rohingya refugees to an uninhabitable island that is far from other refugee settlements and vulnerable to flooding. [ … ] Having opened its doors to more than 655,000 Rohingya over the past three months, the Bangladesh government now risks undermining the protection of the Rohingya and squandering the international goodwill it has earned.”163 If the Bangladesh government is serious about this then the UNHCR is going to have to be fully engaged having told us in November that:

this is not something that we have been seriously engaging with. I know there were various reports about [the island of Thengar Char] … but we are not at the point where this is going to materialise any time soon.164

Impact on local host communities

96.The Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner told us:

The local people were the first to greet these Rohingyas. [ … ] They were the first ones, before anybody could reach the Rohingyas, to greet them. Local people provided shelter, help, food and whatever they could, and they extended their hospitality.

However, he warned that:

Now what has happened is that these people have become the minority in their own land because of the sheer scale of the flow of the Rohingyas.

He added that, because of the population pressure, the price of essentials in the region had increased by between three and 12 times.165

97.UNHCR told us:

It is also clear that the refugee influx is having a huge impact on the local population. We have seen early evidence that social indicators are declining in terms of prices going up, inflation rising, and the effect on education and local hospitals. We are trying to invest money into those local government structures. For example, we have been adding funds and staff in the local hospital in Cox’s Bazar, so that hospital can stay open later than it usually would to help cope with the knock-on impact that has had on local people.

This is very much the model we have been trying to look at for different refugee situations, for example in Lebanon and Jordan, where we have been trying to fund the ministry of education and the ministry of health. It is very early days in this crisis to set up proper structures to be doing that, but as this continues that is the kind of thing we will be doing to try to support the government and the local people of Bangladesh.166

98.Minister Burt, recognised that the stress on host communities was considerable, and increasing, and that the host communities’ needs had to be a vital part of DFID’s planning for a protracted crisis.167 We note that both the World Humanitarian Summit Communique, and the New York Declaration, refer to support for host countries, and the World Humanitarian Summit refers to earning opportunities, education and health services for host communities as well as for refugees.

99. DFID’s Humanitarian Reform Policy states:

For the millions of civilians affected, often uprooted from their homes, short-term humanitarian relief is not enough. It can even maintain a state of dependence and despair. Longer-term plans need to be made–and funded–for countries affected by long-term conflict, including those who host refugees for many years.168

DFID said it has started planning for a protracted crisis by deploying a protracted crisis specialist adviser to Bangladesh and consulting with key partner agencies and donors. The Government has said it is also liaising with the Government of Bangladesh to identify ‘acceptable solutions that protect and respect the rights and freedoms of refugees’ and it is engaged with the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank to discuss their response to the crisis.169 DFID is also supporting the UN-led Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which is being revised to address longer term needs after the end of February.


100.The DFID Humanitarian Policy Reform also states:

The World Humanitarian Summit secured consensus on the need for a new approach to protracted crises and forced displacement. The UK has championed the new model, focused on investing in education and other basic services, jobs and livelihoods for both displaced people and those hosting them.170

The Wilton Park Principles

In April 2016, the UK co-chaired a high level forum on new approached to protracted forced displacement, which resulted in agreement to five core principles – the Wilton Park Principles. These serve as the foundation of a new UK approach

(1)Work through national and local systems: strengthening these systems;

(2)Support host communities and build local cohesion: helping to improve the lives of all affected – both displaced people and those they now live beside – to prevent social strains and further conflict;

(3)Enable economic participation and stimulate growth: recognising the skills, abilities, and aspirations of displaced people and helping them to work and contribute to local economies;

(4)Provide impactful and innovative financing: and bringing in newer partners such as the multilateral development banks with theirgrant and lending facilities;

(5)Improve the data and evidence base: collaborating to improve our shared, disaggregated, data and evidence on what works to support those affected by protracted displacement, and using this to drive decision-making and financing.

DFID Humanitarian Policy Reform

101.Kilian Kleinschmidt who previously managed Jordan’s Zataari Refugee Camp has put forward the idea of focusing on the refugee area in Bangladesh as a “special development zone”. He said in a news article:

I think a real bold step forward would be to come up with a proposal to the Bangladeshi government, to say ‘Look, you have potentially 1 million people, they will be a burden as they are if you let humanitarian agencies continue for the next 20, 30, 50, 100 years to take care of them.

Let’s flip the whole thing, let the humanitarian agencies respond now, but let’s work on a plan to build up a new special development zone, which will combine these settlements with opportunities for your own people who have to move.171

102.The Minister referred to the situation as a “protracted crisis”.172 We welcome the fact that the Government is in discussions with other donors and agencies on how to respond to its potential long term nature of this crisis. We ask the Government to include in any reply to this report, an account of the discussions with the Bangladesh government on the one hand, and the Rohingya communities’ leadership, on the other, regarding the likely and/or tolerable timetable for the current status quo.

103.In addition, the UK Government should seek a consensus, amongst other UN Members states who supported the World Humanitarian Summit Communique, around how further to support the economic development of Bangladesh, as host country, and the livelihoods of the Rohingya including the potential to offer a “special development zone”.


104.We addressed some of the issues around the vulnerability of education to disruption arising from disaster, conflict and displacement in our recent report on global education.173 In that report we commended the genesis, and work, of Education Cannot Wait and the overall recognition that, on the one hand, education gets a far higher priority in a crisis from displaced families than might be expected, and on the other, it has a great deal of added value as the underpinning of recovery in terms of public health, prosperity and participation in community life, self-determination and governance. The Minister told us that: “Education in the camps is a key issue for us”174.

105.However so far there seems to be little or no emergency education provision in the camps in Bangladesh. IRC from their needs assessment found that 90% of refugees would send their children to school if they could.175 World Vision told us:

From our perspective one of the key things is to make sure that the environment becomes a safe environment for children and that the children have access to preschool education, especially a space where they can be a child and have fun, and a space where they can also share and let out some of the expressions of what they have been through. All of these children have been traumatised in different ways. [ … ] For the older children, it is essential that an education programme is set up within the camps. To go with no education system is not an option.176

106.In December 2017, Save the Children estimated that 450,000 Rohingya refugee children in Cox’s Bazar are now in need of education services. It said that:

Not only is school important for children’s learning, cognitive development, and emotional wellbeing, it is also a safe space where they are protected from the risk of exploitation and abuse. Out-of-school children are at greater risk of violence, sexual abuse, and child labour.177

107.Save the Children reported barriers to the provision of education in the Cox’s Bazar area in the form of a lack of funding but also obstructive behaviour by the Bangladesh government. The NGO wrote that all of its requests for education permits have been delayed and refused by the Bangladesh NGO Affairs Bureau as INGOs are not allowed to deliver formal education for Rohingya refugee children. This has limited education interventions to UN-funded grants (where no permit is required). Save the Children said this is severely hampering the scaling-up of Education in Emergencies. Save the Children also reports that only 6% of the $26.3 million in the Humanitarian Response Plan was dedicated to education. IRC and Save the Children are warning that unless there is change there will be a “lost generation” of Rohingya refugee children unlikely to receive an education in 2018. Save the Children recommends the UK Government urges Bangladesh to:

108.We asked the UNHCR representative who was managing education and he told us:

The speciality for the protection element of the relief is with UNHCR. UNICEF would be a partner, certainly on the child area, underneath IOM’s overall co-ordination. The approach so far is first focused on counting, as I mentioned, and so far we have identified almost 25,000 unaccompanied and separated children, and the expectation is that number could well double by the end of the counting process, assuming an overall refugee population of 900,000. 179

When pressed further on who was actually responsible for education he said:

the education lead, I believe, is UNICEF. I would have to double-check that with you. The co-lead is Save the Children. UNICEF and Save the Children are co-leading on education.180

So although unsure on the education programme lead the UNHCR representative did at least acknowledge its importance:

we have been trying to advocate for a long time now to make education spending much more integral to initial phases of crisis response to make sure that it is focused on from the very beginning. The education needs are absolutely huge.181

109.However, it remains unclear to us what is happening on the ground with children’s education. World Vision told us that:

One of the key areas is trying to make sure that the children stay within a community environment. There has been some discussion about the Bangladesh Government setting up a village-type situation for the unaccompanied children, so that would give them the space for education as well. However, from our perspective we feel it is much more important that they stay within the community and the community/family kind of structure.182

The Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner told us that the extension camps it was building to Kutapalong:

would provide for all the Rohingyas’ basic needs, including education. That is the plan. In that area, perhaps we would not have any local schools. So, the schools that we will have will perhaps be dedicated to the Rohingya children.183

Minister Burt said that the UNHCR was supporting non-formal basic education for nearly 9,000 Rohingya children, aged between 3 and 14 years, in the official refugee camps – but these are the children that were there already in the Kutapalong camp as refugees before the recent influx. He did say that Education Cannot Wait plans to commit $2.5 million for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, and DFID was developing an education strategy and would review options for further funding as part of its medium-term response plan.184 However, four months into the crisis, there is no schooling for the refugee children who arrived into Bangladesh in August, a third of a school year already lost. Not only that, but the Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner told us that the local host communities’ children were also missing out on a stable education because schools and colleges had been converted into shelters.185

137 Shameem Ahsan, Bangladesh’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, at the U.N. pledging conference

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141 IOM Situation Report, 7 December 2017

142 2017 Monitoring Report: ROHINGYA REFUGEE CRISIS RESPONSE PLAN, 25 August – 31 October 2017

143 Irin News, Diphtheria expected to double every few days, 12 December 2017

144 The conference was co-hosted by the European Union and the Government of Kuwait (who itself pledged $15 million) and co-organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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150 Department for International Development (DBB016) para 5

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157 Irin News, Diphtheria expected to double every few days, 12 December 2017

158 2017 Monitoring Report: ROHINGYA REFUGEE CRISIS RESPONSE PLAN, 25 August – 31 October 2017

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169 Department for International Development (DBB016),pg 5

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173 International Development Committee, DFID’s work on education: Leaving no one behind? First Report of Session 2017–19, HC367, 21 November 2017

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177 Save the Children (DBB030)

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15 January 2018