Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

Bangladesh: Urgent relief needed for those hit by devastating fire in Rohingya refugee camp

© Arfat Ro Maung Hla Myint

Sunday’s huge fire destroyed some 2,000 shelters, leaving an estimated 12,000 people without shelter

Cox’s Bazaar is world’s largest refugee camp, hosting an estimated one million-plus people

‘It is vital steps are taken to ensure such fires do not happen again’ - Yasasmin Kaviratne

Commenting on Sunday’s devastating fire at Cox’s Bazaar Rohingya camp in Bangladesh - the largest refugee camp in the world - which destroyed some 2,000 shelters, leaving an estimated 12,000 refugees without shelter, Yasasmin Kaviratne, Amnesty International’s South Asia regional campaigner, said:

“The Government should work with the international community to urgently put in place measures that ensure everyone has access to emergency shelter.

“Essential items destroyed in the fire such as cooking implements, medication sanitary items need to be replaced immediately. All those affected must have access to food, sanitation, adequate housing and health and other care, including mental health care.

“Special attention should be paid to meet the needs of groups most at risk, including older people, women, people with disabilities, children, and those experiencing intersectional discrimination.

“It is vital steps are taken to ensure such fires do not happen again. The Government should recognise the danger of keeping large communities in unsafe, overcrowded conditions and take steps to provide adequate and safe housing to the Rohingya community.”

Latest in series of fires at the camp

The massive blaze at Cox’s Bazaar broke out on the afternoon of 5 March and is just the latest of more than 200 fires at the camp since January 2021, including at least 60 cases of arson. There are still no lasting solutions for the resettlement of Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, and Amnesty has previously raised concerns over the proposed plans to relocate people to the Bhashan Char islands. Amnesty has insisted that any relocation plan should be undertaken only with the full, free, prior and informed consent of those involved.

View latest press releases