Bangladesh is acutely vulnerable to cyclones, floods, monsoon rains, storm surges, and other climatic shocks. Photo credit: Munir Uz Zaman / AFP

Key Developments

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) reached an estimated 1.2 million refugees and host community members in Cox's Bazar with emergency food and nutrition assistance through the UN World Food Program (WFP) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

In FYs 2021 and 2022, USAID/BHA responded to heightened humanitarian needs linked to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by supporting partners to bolster health, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene activities in Bandarban and Cox's Bazar districts, where host communities were hosting large refugee populations. USAID/BHA also supported emergency food assistance in Bangladesh's capital city of Dhaka, responding to critical needs among the most vulnerable urban households. Many of these households had lost livelihood opportunities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

USAID/BHA complements emergency assistance programming with disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts to help host communities in Bangladesh prepare for natural disasters.


Bangladesh is acutely vulnerable to cyclones, floods, monsoon rains, storm surges, and other climatic shocks due to a range of factors including the country's geographic location and low elevation. Such climatic shocks damage crops and infrastructure, displace populations, and hinder livelihoods. Between 30 and 50 percent of Bangladesh's population currently experiences climatic shocks each year, and the UN projects that climate change will generate stronger and more frequent climatic shocks in the country in the coming year.

Bangladesh also hosts nearly 1 million Burmese refugees, the majority of whom belong to the Rohingya ethnic minority group and fled Burma's Rakhine State following the launch of Government of Burma military operations in August 2017. More than 943,000 of these refugees were living in 34 crowded camps in Bangladesh's Cox;s Bazar District as of August 2022, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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