Bangladesh to host the world’s largest camp for displaced people, says Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)

06/10/2017

The camp being built in Bangladesh for people fleeing Myanmar could soon become the world’s largest camp for displaced people, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has said.

UN agencies and the Bangladesh government are currently building a relief camp in Cox’s Bazaar district, to provide urgent shelter for more than half a million people displaced by violence in Myanmar.

After launching emergency appeal on Wednesday, the DEC has now released new drone footage and images capturing the scale of the spontaneous settlements that have sprung up in Cox’s Bazar.

Since August 25, some 509,000 people – mostly Rohingya women and children – have crossed the border into Bangladesh: the region’s largest mass people movement in decades.

This figure is:

  • More than double the size of the world’s largest refugee complex, Dadaab, in Kenya, which houses 240,000 displaced people.
  • A thousand times the capacity of the Royal Albert Hall in London
  • Roughly equivalent to the number of people in the City of Edinburgh
  • Higher than the number of people Liverpool [or Bristol]
  • Higher than the number of babies and toddlers (0-4-year-olds) in Scotland and Wales
  • Greater than the combined populations of the London Boroughs of Westminster and Camden

DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: “This is a crisis of unprecedented proportions. It’s hard to imagine the sheer scale of the numbers involved: half a million lives have been violently uprooted in just a matter of weeks.

“Our member agencies are supporting the Bangladesh authorities and humanitarian partners to ensure that new camps meet humanitarian standards, for instance, by having rain-resistant shelters, water systems and washing units.

“We urgently need more funds to provide even more emergency relief and protection to women, children and men who have nothing except the clothes on their backs. We hope the British public will continue to rise to the occasion and lend their generous support to this appeal.”

DEC member charities are already responding in Bangladesh, providing temporary shelter, emergency healthcare, food, clean drinking water and sanitation services, such as latrines and hygiene kits.

To download drone footage and images, visit:

To make a donation to the DEC Emergency Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 610, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.

The UK Government will match pound for pound the first £3 million donated by the public to the DEC Emergency Appeal.

Stay up to date with developments in Bangladesh, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter: www.twitter.com/decappeal or on Facebook via www.facebook.com/DisastersEmergencyCommittee.