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Qatar Charity rebuilds 326 homes for Rohingya refugees following devastating blaze in Cox’s Bazar

The fires affected more than 15,000 individuals, including thousands of children.

Qatar Charity is rebuilding 326 homes for Rohingya refugees in the Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar, following the tragic fires that destroyed the shelter of thousands in March.

In a Twitter statement on Tuesday, Qatar Charity announced that it started the reconstruction process with the help of numerous donors in the Gulf state. 

بدعم من أهل الخير في قطر انطلقت قطر الخيرية في إعادة بناء 326 منزلا للاجئين #الروهينغا في مخيم بالوخالي في مدينة كوكس بازار ببنغلاديش والتي دمرت بالكامل بسبب الحريق الذي اندلع في مخيم اللاجئين في مارس الماضي.#قطر_الخيرية

— Qatar Charity | قطر الخيرية (@qcharity) May 9, 2023

“Qatar Charity has started the construction process in accordance with the designs of houses approved by the Office of Refugee Affairs, Relief and Return of the Government of Bangladesh where each house contains two living rooms for each affected family,” the aid organisation said.

Qatar Charity has rebuilt 537 homes for Rohingya refugees in the Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar after more than 9,500 shelters were destroyed during a fire in 2021. Following the tragedy, thousands of refugees were evacuated to temporary camps on Bhasan Char Island.

The latest fires broke out on 5 March in Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, which hosts nearly a million refugees who had fled Myanmar’s violent attacks against its Muslim population.

The United Nations have previously slammed the attacks as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Impact of fires

According to figures by the UN, the fires displaced an estimated 12,000 refugees while destroying more than 2,000 homes. Hospitals and educational structures have also been destroyed by the fires.

The fires affected more than 15,000 individuals, including thousands of children, at the vulnerable refugee camp.

A panel that investigated the blaze referred to the the fires as a “planned act of sabotage,” after publishing a report based on the testimonies of 150 eyewitnesses.

“The fire was a planned act of sabotage,” Sufian, head of a seven-member probe committee, told Reuters news agency in March.

The senior district government official pointed to the simultaneous fires that have taken place in the refugee camp, though he did not attach the responsibility to any particular group.

“At least five places caught fire within a short period of time […] The day before the fire, there were shootings and clashes over dominance in that camp. Some people in the camps restricted refugees from dousing it, allowing the fire to burn the shelters,” Sufian said.