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Better health conditions and emergency relief for refugees and local populations in Cox's Bazar

In order to improve conditions for people in the overcrowded refugee camps, we have been on the ground since the beginning of the crisis, providing vital assistance in the areas of health, water, hygiene and nutrition.

Specifically, we provide basic medical services and psychosocial counseling at three health facilities and in surrounding host communities. Since 2021, we have also been supporting our partner Gonoshasthaya Kendra in its work on Bhasan Char Island, to which around 20,000 refugees have been resettled to date (as of 11/2021). We are in close contact with health authorities in Bangladesh, enabling us to refer difficult medical cases to nearby clinics as needed. In addition, to stem the spread of disease, we conduct health and hygiene training and have improved water supply and sanitation facilities at schools. We are also ensuring the improvement of disaster preparedness and response capacities through the development of emergency plans and the training of employees and partner organizations so that humanitarian aid can be provided as quickly as possible in the event of a disaster, such as the annual floods. At the same time, another important concern of our work is to support our local partners in their work in the best possible way and to continuously strengthen their capacities in terms of quality and accountability in project work.

This project is being implemented under a joint grant from the German Federal Foreign Office with similar components in nearby northern Rakhine State in Myanmar.


Following the outbreak of violence in August 2017, the number of refugees from Myanmar in the south of the country in the Cox's Bazar district rose to around 900,000 people within a few months. The majority of the members of the Rohingya ethnic group reached Bangladesh completely traumatized and in poor health. The refugees settled in fields and along roads in Cox's Bazar, where they hoped for help. Within a short time, refugee camps were set up in the district by the Bangladeshi government and the United Nations. Years later, the situation in the camps, which together form the largest refugee camp in the world, is still dramatic: the hygienic conditions are catastrophic. In the cramped conditions and heat, diseases can spread uncontrollably, especially during the rainy season. Thus, the Covid-19 pandemic has also added to the strain of already extremely challenging circumstances. There is a lack of adequate water supply, food, proper housing and sanitation, access to health care, schools, and much more.

Our goal is to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable, crisis-affected people, especially mothers, young children, and the elderly, in the camps and surrounding communities in Cox's Bazar through holistic health care and timely emergency response.



  • Provision of primary health care services with a focus on maternal and child health at three health centers in the camps, as well as in Bhasan Char and host communities in Kutubdia and Cox's Bazar
  • Referral of emergency cases to the nearest hospital
  • Psychosocial support in individual or group sessions at the health centers
  • Health and hygiene education activities in the health center areas
  • Identification and monitoring of the nutritional status of pregnant women, lactating mothers, children between six to 59 months, people with disabilities and the elderly
  • Awareness and education activities for mothers and children about health, nutrition, and hygiene
  • Referring emergency cases to the nearest care center for malnourished/undernourished women and children
  • Developing and implementing emergency and disaster preparedness plans at health posts
  • Provision of an emergency fund to respond as quickly as possible in the event of another disaster
  • Strengthen administrative, technical, and management capacity of local partner organization GK to ensure quality and accountability

Country info

Capital: Dhaka
Area: 147.570 km²
Population: approx. 166,3 million

Project data

Project duration: since August 2017
Financing: German Federal Foreign Office, The German Relief Coalition (Aktion Deutschland Hilft - ADH)
Partner: Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK)

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