In August 2017, following attacks on border posts by an insurgent group, Myanmar’s military cracked down on the minority Rohingya Muslims in the country’s Rakhine state. The violence carried out against Rohingya civilians caused more than 740,000 people to flee across the border into neighbouring Bangladesh in search of safety and protection.
The sudden influx of this unprecedented number of refugees, concentrated in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district, exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation in a region, which is already considered one of the poorest in the world. Even prior to the 2017 exodus, Cox’s Bazar already housed hundreds of thousands of refugees.
The European Union, already present in the area for a decade, immediately stepped up its humanitarian response. Since the onset of the crisis, the EU has provided €78 million to ensure essential support to both Rohingya refugees and members of host communities in Cox's Bazar.
Story and photos by Mallika Panorat, regional information and communication assistant, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)