Bangladesh population

Helping Bangladesh cope with the influx of displaced Rohingya people


The Rohingya Displaced Population (DRP) began entering Bangladesh in August 2017 in what has been one of the world’s fastest growing forced displacement crises. The Rohingya now live in makeshift shelters and overcrowded encampments in an area that already had limited access to basic infrastructure and services and is prone to cyclones and flooding.

The influx has put enormous pressure on the host community, its infrastructure and services and has strained already limited resources. Incoming IDPs outnumbered the local population by about 3 to 1. At least 80% of DRPs depend on external assistance for their survival. The situation of displaced women and girls, who represent 52% of the DRP, is particularly difficult. Women have been victims of gender-based violence even before fleeing and remain at risk in the camps, including trafficking.


The World Bank supported the Government of Bangladesh through a phased, multi-sectoral approach to address the immediate and medium-term needs of the DRP and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. The Bank approved the Emergency Multi-Sector Rohingya Crisis Response Project (EMCRP) in March 2019. It focused on strengthening government systems to improve access to basic services and build social and social resilience. the social resilience of the DRP and the host communities. The project is also committed to strengthening local community systems to improve access to basic services and build disaster resilience and social resilience for the population of Cox’s Bazar District.

The project helps build and rehabilitate basic infrastructure, build multi-purpose climate-resilient shelters and access and evacuation routes, improve social resilience, prevent gender-based violence, and build the capacity of the government. The initial financing of the EMCRP was followed by other World Bank interventions in support of the DRP, notably in the area of ​​health (50 million US dollars added to the support project for the health sector of US$500 million ongoing); and education ($25 million added to the $130 million Reaching Out of School Children project). A Health and Gender Support Project for Cox’s Bazar District (US$150 million) and an AF for the Poorest Safety Net Systems Project (US$100 million) have been prepared at the same time as the EMCRP AF.

The project is implemented with close coordination between two ministries, three implementing agencies, bilateral development partners, UN agencies and NGOs.


  • 216,300 DRPs have access to improved public infrastructure
  • 216,300 DRPs have access to improved water sources, including 112,476 women
  • 53,790 have access to improved sanitation, including 27,971 women
  • 107 lightning protection systems have been installed covering approximately 133,357 DRPs
  • 17 km of roads have been improved and made climate proof, and 1,265 solar street lights have been installed in different camps
  • Firefighting and search and rescue equipment was provided to firefighters and civil protection
  • 10,500 women and girls use GBV prevention/response services thanks to the project
  • 175,541 households received allowances for their participation in community works and services
  • 7,017,206 working days were generated thanks to community services and 1,656,707 working days thanks to community work

Watering and planting work in the camps. Photo credit: MoDMR, WFP

Bank Group Contribution

An initial $165 million IDA grant for the EMCRP of the IDA18 regional sub-window for refugees and host communities, approved in 2019, has helped Bangladesh provide basic services and strengthen social and disaster resilience for DRP. An additional funding grant of $100 million was approved in 2020 to scale up project activities to meet the scale of the needs of the DRP and host communities.

The partners

The implementing agencies for the project include Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Local Government Engineering Department and Public Health Engineering Department. The Bank actively participates in existing coordination mechanisms, including partnerships initiated by the Government of Bangladesh, such as with the National Task Force and the Office of the Commissioner for Refugee Relief and Repatriation, as well as by the UN and its partners. , such as the Strategic Executive Group and the Cross-Sector Coordination Group. The World Food Program and the United Nations Population Fund are supporting the government in implementing parts of the project. The Bank maintains a strong partnership with AfDB through parallel financing (ADB USD 100 million) for the Rohingya crisis response, and complementary financing with KfW (ADB 7.0 million). euros) for the financing of multi-purpose disaster shelters. The Government of Canada enabled the first phase of the project by committing the necessary resources for the option to buy back IDA credits.

To advance

Despite the continuing difficulties and unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project implementation has gone very smoothly, demonstrating the strong commitment of the Government of Bangladesh.

The Bank is providing enhanced implementation support and actively engaging in policy discussions with the government and development partners to find lasting solutions to the global Rohingya crisis. The Bank will continue to engage with the GoB to support the medium-term dimensions of the DRP situation and tailor future assistance accordingly.


The beneficiaries of the project are the displaced Rohingya population settled in camps and the population of Cox’s Bazar district as host community.

Concretely, following the project:

  • 780,800 people will have access to improved public infrastructure
  • 81,000 people will have access to multi-purpose, climate-resilient shelters, including 41,610 women
  • 100,000 households will participate in community works and services
  • 365,800 people will have access to improved water sources
  • 171,800 people will have access to improved sanitation