child eats in an Action Against Hunger supported feeding centre. Centres like this support thousands of displaced Rohingya refugees staying in makeshift camps in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh


Almost one third of the population in Bangladesh is living under the threshold of poverty. The country is also one of the most vulnerable to climactic disasters, and is hosting one million refugees in Cox's Bazar.

Country Overview

Despite economic indicators consistently progressing, about 31.5% of the population is living under the threshold of poverty. Following massive population movements from the Rakhine State in Myanmar last August, 2017, large numbers of Rohingya refugees and members of other ethnic minorities have crossed the border into Bangladesh. Currently about one million people have taken shelter in the camps and villages in Cox's Bazar. More than 40% of children are stunted, and the severe acute malnutrition rates are far above emergency thresholds set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The country is also one of the most vulnerable to climatic disasters. In May 2017, heavy rains and landslides caused by typhoon Mora affected more than nine million people.

People we helped in 2017

What we are doing

In 2017, we responded to three major emergencies in Bangladesh: the Rohingya crisis, typhoon Mora, and heavy floods in the northwest. In partnership with several local and international organisations, we coordinated the prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition, as well as the support to vulnerable people in formal and informal camps. We did this through direct interventions in nutrition and health, mental health and care practices, and water, sanitation and hygiene. We are also working outside of the camps.

"During the last two weeks there have been heavy rains on a daily basis, lasting hours at a time. Low-lying areas have flooded, blocking up water boreholes and flooding makeshift settlements. A number of families have been relocated but many more remain in areas that are at risk. 

"Access within the camps is becoming a challenge as dirt roads become mud slops, and water begins to pool. In some camps the refugee populations are working hard to try and dig channels or makeshift damns to better control the rain run-off. The refugees sit huddled in their tarpaulin shelters trying to keep dry for hours. Those who have had their shelters flooded either have to move into already crowded settlements with friends and relatives or are reallocated new areas in which they have to construct their own settlement from bamboos and tarpaulins.

"There are still thousands at risk of landslides." Steve Rhys Williams, Deputy Country Director for Operations, Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger has been working in Bangladesh since 2007 and is committed to helping reduce its malnutrition rates, mitigate the impact of natural disasters, develop emergency response plans for future disasters, and strengthen the quality, coverage, and impact of our work in the country.

Support our work in Bangladesh to provide urgent food and water and emergency services to Rahingya refugees from Myanmar
Support our work in Bangladesh to provide urgent food and water and emergency services to Rahingya refugees from Myanmar


Help us support Rohingya refugees

Photo credits: © Gonzalo Hohr and Tom Pilston / Action Against Hunger

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Number of Staff
Operating since
Dhaka, Cox's Bazar, Kurigram, Satkhira, Barguna