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The May 24 fire at the refugee camp at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh (Caritas Bangladesh)

This World Refugee Week (June 17-20), Caritas Australia is shining a light on the plight of the one million people in the world’s largest refugee camp, Kutupalong in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

This camp is made up of 33 highly congested camps and is home to mostly Rohingya refugees who fled persecution in Myanmar in 2017. 

Caritas Bangladesh operates in camp number 13 of Cox’s Bazar, which has a population of 45,550 people.

On May 24, a devastating fire broke out leaving 1,300 people without shelter and destroying the Caritas Bangladesh warehouse that contained shelter materials worth millions. 

Caritas Bangladesh project officer Setu Barai spoke of the inherent dangers of working in camps like Kutupalong.

 “We may die but we have to support people. That’s the risk humanitarian people have to take. When you see people suffering, we are human, we have a soft heart. So, if we see people suffering, we intend to help them”.

The May 24 fire damaged 221 shelters, 45 small shops, two child-friendly spaces, one community safe space, one warehouse, 125 water and sanitation infrastructures, including toilets, taps, and bathing spaces and community infrastructure including a mosque and an Islamic teaching centre.

Following a recent visit to Bangladesh, Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Alistair Dutton said the world “must not forget the Rohingya people”.

“Rohingya families are among the most vulnerable people in our world today, living on marginal land, without the right to work. Over the past six years, more than 200,000 children have been born in the camps. They have never seen their home country and have no nationality. They are stateless,” Mr Dutton said.

Caritas Australia’s Displaced People Crisis Appeal supports Caritas partners with programs that assist refugees in the region. These programs provide access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities, as well as essentials such as food, shelter, hygiene kits and psychosocial support.



World Refugee Week Caritas Australia raises awareness of the world’s largest refugee camp (Caritas Australia)