Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

by Concern Worldwide US
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Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Assist Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
Oct 17, 2022

Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh Update

 

A protracted crisis

Five years to the day since they were forced to leave their homes in Myanmar, the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh live in fear of being forgotten. 

Close to one million people live in the camps in the Cox’s Bazaar region of this impoverished country, and all across the camps are stories of people who are living in cramped conditions, forced to live off aid provided by humanitarian organizations like Concern, without hope of education or the opportunity to rebuild their own livelihoods.

Fiona McLysaght, Concern's Country Director in Bangladesh, is concerned that the world's focus will turn away from what remains the world's largest refugee camp. "The overall response to the Rohingya crisis is slipping off the global radar," Fiona explains.

"Given what's happening in Ukraine and other countries, this is having a direct impact on the Rohingya response. Once you go into the sixth year in any response, it's referred to as a protracted crisis, so inevitably it will get less focus than it has previously. That is a concern because there are so many global competing priorities. Donor countries, as well, have been impacted by inflation and increased fuel costs etc., so we're worried that there will be less money allocated to overseas humanitarian development aid."

The population within Cox's Bazar is increasing all the time, Fiona explains, with Concern's work in terms of nutrition also scaling up to try and reach as many people as possible. "Year on year there are approximately 40,000 births, so the population is increasing every year. Our work has really scaled up, particularly in our nutrition programming. We're working in more camps - we're in 17 camps now - and we're taking on a lot of extra work in the response.

"There is also genuine worry on the government's side about where the money will come from to continue support to the people in the camps."

Concern's role in helping the Rohingya population

At Concern, our focus remains on helping the thousands of families who are essentially confined within tight spaces within the camps to stay healthy and to maintain their dignity. This includes a combination of life-saving integrated nutrition support, livelihood development, disaster risk reduction, non-food item distributions, and home gardening initiatives. Three of our biggest focuses are nutrition and safeguarding against weather-related disasters.

Thus, Concern is working with both the Rohingya and the host communities to help address the immediate needs of the current refugee crisis, now across 17 camps, including: 

  • Treating over 4,000 Rohingya for malnutrition, including children under the age of 5
  • Preparing and delivering hot meals for over 32,000 people
  • Screenings of over 35,000 children and pregnant/lactating women each month for malnutrition and providing treatment
  • Providing food rations, cooking demonstrations, and health education to over 9,800 caregivers
  • Developing a “Mother Care Group” for caregivers of children under 5 focusing on improving maternal & child heath, reaching over 108,000 Rohingya refugees and host community members
  • Providing training and supplies for homestead gardening to nearly 11,000 Mother Care Group members
  • Nearly 400 cooking demonstrations attended by over 12,000 participants
  • Over 2,100 families provided seeds and fertilizer support for home gardening
  • Forming 27 livelihood groups for 750 program participants
  • Cash grants provided to 750 families, as well as relevant training for building livelihoods
  • Constructing roads, drainage lines, slope protections, walls, and culverts to improve disaster preparedness 

Many Concern colleagues in Bangladesh have been working day in, day out for the last five years. “They're frontline, they've been working throughout COVID-19, multiple emergencies and there's such competency and skill within the team,” Fiona reveals.

Concern plans to continue to stay and deliver our critical life-saving crisis response, health and sanitation, and livelihood programming. Our goal, along with many of our partners and humanitarian colleagues, is to help the Rohingya stay healthy, care for their families, and live with as much security and dignity as possible.

No access to education

Despite the fact that there are children in the camps who have never seen Myanmar, and the fact that repatriation seems as far away as ever for the Rohingya people, formal access to education is not accessible to the population of the camps.

“The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently visited the camps meeting Rohingya refugees who, after repression and human rights violations, fled Myanmar five years ago to, in her words, 'get some safety.' She also advocated for education and livelihood opportunities for the Rohingya people," Fiona says.

Access to education, and ultimately the opportunity to earn money through livelihood programmes, is the only way for the Rohingya population to become somewhat self-sufficient and not wholly reliant on aid. “However, given the fact that there's less funding around, that's tough," she adds.

Given the dangers they would face by returning to Myanmar, these refugees have no option but to remain in Bangladesh despite the lack of access to education, to work, to travel and to a dignified standard of living, which is why Concern Worldwide is committed to stay and deliver programs and interventions to this fragile population.

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Concern Worldwide US

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @concern
Project Leader:
Conner Purcell
New York, NY United States
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