Bangladesh experienced on Monday the 22. March a fatal fire in the Kutupalong camp, the largest refugee camp in the world in Cox’s Bazar in the southeastern part of the country. The devastating fire destroyed thousands of cottages and killed at least 15 people, while more than 50.000 people left homeless.
The camp currently provides space for nearly one million Rohingya refugees who have fled violence and persecution in Myanmar. The camp complex, which covers an area of about 13 square kilometers, is also one of the most densely populated regions in the world.
The disaster represents another humanitarian crisis at a time when the world is already facing the effects of the global pandemic. There is an urgent need to take action to support affected communities and ensure they have access to basic needs such as food, water and shelter.
Cause of the catastrophic fire in the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh
The Bangladesh camp hosts more than one million Rohingya refugees who have fled violence and persecution in Myanmar. On 22. March 2021, a large fire broke out in the camp, quickly destroying thousands of temporary shelters.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but it is suspected that electrical shorts or cooking stoves may be responsible. Another factor that may have contributed to the disaster was the camp’s dense construction and high temperatures.
Rohingya refugees have been living in difficult conditions in Bangladesh for years, without proper sanitation, education and medical care. The fire has further aggravated the already precarious situation of the people in the camp.
The international community responded quickly and offered humanitarian aid to help the affected people. However, it remains a major challenge to provide adequate replacements for lost shelter and basic needs such as food and clean water.