Rohingya Emergency Vulnerability Assessment

Rohingya Emergency Vulnerability Assessment (REVA) – Summary Report, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, December 2017.

Since 25 August 2017, Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh has experienced a large influx of Rohingya refugees fleeing violence that erupted in Rakhine State in Myanmar. As of November 2017, four in five of the new arrivals are fully dependent on external assistance, while 19 percent can at least partially meet their own needs. The situation is only slightly better among the refugees who arrived prior to August 2017.

Overall, it is estimated that at least 80 percent of the overall refugee population are high to entirely relying on life-saving assistance. Among those new arrivals who are considered “less vulnerable,” adoption of coping strategies affecting livelihoods such as the sale of jewellery, borrowing money, spending savings, and buying food on credit, is high. Their food security status could quickly deteriorate once their coping capacity is exhausted, which makes close monitoring essential. Local host communities are among the poorest within Bangladesh and findings of the REVA show that 38 percent are vulnerable to food insecurity.

Economic vulnerability is the main driver of food insecurity, especially among the new and older registered refugees. About 16 percent of the new arrivals are currently using their savings which were mostly generated from sales of assets prior to or during the displacement. Once these savings have been depleted and no alternative income sources are found, their situation could further deteriorate.

Due to the massive scale-up of food assistance over the past three months in response to the new influx, food consumption is not the major driver of the overall vulnerability classification. However, higher levels of unacceptable (poor or borderline) food consumption were observed among the older unregistered refugees who did not benefit from adequate food assistance at the time of data collection.

Households headed by women within host communities are more vulnerable to food insecurity (45 percent are vulnerable or highly vulnerable) than those headed by men (35 percent). The sex of household head is not a decisive factor among the different refugee groups.

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