A fire that swept through Rohingya refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on Sunday has left 12,000 people homeless and in urgent need of shelter, water, sanitation, and medical services. Oxfam is mounting a response to provide immediate food and shelter to impacted people.
“In a matter of hours, thousands of bamboo and tarpaulin shelters were destroyed, along with few primary health centers, local schools, and community spaces. Thousands of families were forced to spend the night under the open sky, many without any food or water,” said Ashish Damle, Oxfam Country Director in Bangladesh.
The fire started on Sunday afternoon around 2:45 pm local time in camp 11 and quickly spread to adjacent camps. While no casualties were reported, the full extent of the damage is being assessed.
“This is the second major fire that hit Rohingya camps since 2021. It took years of relief efforts to bring a semblance of normalcy to the lives of people after the first fire. To the Rohingya refugees this is a déjà vu of loss and suffering,” added Damle.
The Oxfam team is working closely with partners on the ground, assessing people’s needs and preparing to provide most affected people with immediate food, shelter, water, and sanitation.
Oxfam International is collaborating with community leaders, local authorities, and other partners on the ground to conduct long-term needs assessments for those affected.