Bangladesh and Burma: the Rohingya crisis - monsoon preparedness in Cox's Bazar Contents

Conclusions and recommendations

A new crisis

1.While in Bangladesh, we heard grave and convincing concerns from many quarters that a substantial proportion of the Rohingya refugees’ accommodation was extremely vulnerable to the heavy rainfall that the imminent monsoon season would bring. Without decisions and action being taken very quickly to enable relocation to begin -- and to facilitate other mitigations -- people were going to die. (Paragraph 4)

Extreme weather: heavy rain, storms, cyclones

2.Cox’s Bazar is expected to experience over two and a half metres of rainfall during these three months alone -average annual rainfall in the UK as a whole is 885mm. (Paragraph 6)

Urgent next steps

3.We strongly urge the UK Government to urgently step up its efforts with other donor nations and international agencies to encourage and work with the Bangladesh government to overcome the barriers we have identified and meet this next challenge in practice. (Paragraph 10)

4.We urge the UK Government to press for the Rohingya crisis to be considered as a priority by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April 2018. (Paragraph 11)

5.The international community must now further assist Bangladesh, as a matter of urgency, to build upon its humane and generous gesture in providing initial sanctuary for the Rohingya and to consolidate, in the terms of the international Humanitarian Summit, the ‘global public good’ it has provided the international community in this respect. This should also be reflected at the CHOGM in April and the World Bank’s meetings in the spring. (Paragraph 12)

6.The Rohingya have suffered a completely man-made disaster at the hands of the Burmese regime -- described by the Bangladesh Finance Minister, A M A Muhith, as “absolute evil” after our meeting with him. It would be a further tragedy if huge numbers of these survivors were to fall victim to a completely predictable natural disaster, largely due to a lack of coordination, collaboration, political will, timely decision-making and practical action across donor nations and Bangladesh as the host. (Paragraph 13)

Published: 20 March 2018