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Luck of the Draw: Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Bangladesh hosts more than 200,000 Rohingya refugees from Burma.  Many have lived there for close to twenty years.  The Bangladeshi government divides the Rohingya into two categories - recognized refugees living in official camps and unrecognized refugees living in unofficial sites or among Bangladeshi communities.  While camp residents have access to basic services, those outside do not.  With no changes inside Burma in sight, Bangladesh must come to terms with the long-term needs of all the Rohingya refugees in the country, and allow international organizations to expand services that benefit the Rohingya as well as local communities.

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Playground in Kutupalong Camp: Though official camp residents only receive education through grade 5, they have access to uniforms and some play space.Playground in Kutupalong Camp: Though official camp residents only receive education through grade 5, they have access to uniforms and some play space.Young Girls Discussion Group, Kutupalong Camp: The UN Refugee Agency provides a safe space for girls to discuss issues and learn new skills.  Here, they engage in a beadwork project.Young Girls Discussion Group, Kutupalong Camp: The UN Refugee Agency provides a safe space for girls to discuss issues and learn new skills. Here, they engage in a beadwork project.Female Headed Household, Kutupalong Camp: Without a husband for protection, this mother and her daughters fear harassment by other camp residents, and by Bangladeshis who dislike the Rohingya.Female Headed Household, Kutupalong Camp: Without a husband for protection, this mother and her daughters fear harassment by other camp residents, and by Bangladeshis who dislike the Rohingya.Improved Shelter at Leda Unofficial Site: Leda residents are not official refugees. However, Bangladesh agreed to relocate them from abysmal conditions to new shelters and improved facilities in Leda.Improved Shelter at Leda Unofficial Site: Leda residents are not official refugees. However, Bangladesh agreed to relocate them from abysmal conditions to new shelters and improved facilities in Leda.Malnutrition Treatment Center, Leda Unofficial Site: Leda residents have access to basic medical care.  Despite the new facility, malnutrition is common – the center was treating over 100 children in November 2008.Malnutrition Treatment Center, Leda Unofficial Site: Leda residents have access to basic medical care. Despite the new facility, malnutrition is common – the center was treating over 100 children in November 2008.
Rohingya Children at Leda Unofficial Site: Despite improved conditions in Leda, there is no access to education, leaving children idle.  Lack of security leaves everyone, including children, vulnerable to violence.Rohingya Children at Leda Unofficial Site: Despite improved conditions in Leda, there is no access to education, leaving children idle. Lack of security leaves everyone, including children, vulnerable to violence.No Future for Young Men, Leda: Frustrated with the lack of opportunity in Bangladesh, this 23-year-old snuck into Burma for 3 days to see if life was better there.  He returned hopeless.No Future for Young Men, Leda: Frustrated with the lack of opportunity in Bangladesh, this 23-year-old snuck into Burma for 3 days to see if life was better there. He returned hopeless.85 Year Old Rohingya Man, Leda: This man hopes for a better life for his grandchildren.  He says the Rohingya have not seen peace since he was a child under British rule.85 Year Old Rohingya Man, Leda: This man hopes for a better life for his grandchildren. He says the Rohingya have not seen peace since he was a child under British rule.Rohingya Makeshift Squatter Settlement Near Kutupalong Camp: Over 4,000 Rohingya have established a makeshift site in the area surrounding Kutupalong camp. They have cobbled together shelter and receive no services at all.Rohingya Makeshift Squatter Settlement Near Kutupalong Camp: Over 4,000 Rohingya have established a makeshift site in the area surrounding Kutupalong camp. They have cobbled together shelter and receive no services at all.New Arrivals, Kutupalong Makeshift Squatter Settlement: A shelter is being constructed for a newly arrived family.  Until enough wood and plastic sheeting can be gathered, they remain vulnerable to the elements.New Arrivals, Kutupalong Makeshift Squatter Settlement: A shelter is being constructed for a newly arrived family. Until enough wood and plastic sheeting can be gathered, they remain vulnerable to the elements.
Kutupalong Makeshift Settlement Resident: This woman is afraid to use the latrines or gather water from the official Kutupalong camp, just meters away.  She says residents there chase her away.Kutupalong Makeshift Settlement Resident: This woman is afraid to use the latrines or gather water from the official Kutupalong camp, just meters away. She says residents there chase her away.Water Source, Kutupalong Squatter Settlement: Without access to services in Kutapalong camp, squatter residents dug a pit to collect rainwater.  This unsafe water source raises concerns about disease outbreaks.Water Source, Kutupalong Squatter Settlement: Without access to services in Kutapalong camp, squatter residents dug a pit to collect rainwater. This unsafe water source raises concerns about disease outbreaks.Rohingya Children: In order to improve the self-sufficiency of future generations of Rohingya, services like education and health care must be strengthened for unofficial and official refugees.Rohingya Children: In order to improve the self-sufficiency of future generations of Rohingya, services like education and health care must be strengthened for unofficial and official refugees.

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