01 Sep 2021
Review of Australia Assists’ support to the Rohingya crisis; 2017-2020

In late August 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people fled genocide, rape and torture in northern Myanmar and poured into a small stretch of land in Bangladesh to create the world’s largest and most densely populated refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar. The scale and speed of the influx reached 850,000 refugees, overwhelming the already vulnerable Bangladeshi host community.

Over the past four years, RedR Australia has deployed 60 technical specialists through the Australia Assists program to support the response to the Rohingya crisis, the largest single response to a humanitarian emergency in the organisation’s almost 30-year history.

An independent review by RM Consulting Group found that the Australia Assists’ support to the crisis had yielded both critical impact and value for money. Working across eight UN agencies and the Inter-Sector Coordination Group, in extremely testing circumstances, deployees had provided life-saving assistance, helped protect the most vulnerable, and supported a more sustainable and targeted refugee response.

Among the many significant outcomes highlighted in the review, RedR deployees:

  • Helped design, plan and build a broad range of significant infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, sewerage systems, shelters and health facilities which have enabled support to be scaled up.
  • Prevented monsoon and landslide related deaths and injury by prepositioning stores, implementing an early-warning system for landslides and identifying key environmental issues to address as the response continues.
  • Raised the voices of refugee women and their particular experiences to donors government and other stakeholders, leading to increased funding for gender-based violence preventions and women’s empowerment programs.
  • Developed and desiged reservoirs, sewer networks, treatment centres and decommissioning unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

Read the full review for key findings and associated recommendations.