Addressing the Urgent Needs of the Rohingyas

by Friendship
Friendship Health Clinic
Friendship Health Clinic

Report on Friendship’s Rohingya Support Project

Background to the Rohingya crisis

Bangladesh is experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises in its history, due to the recent influx of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas from Myanmar. Inter-Sector Coordination Group, led by IOM, estimates that as of December 4th, more than 626,000 Rohingyas[1] have fled to Bangladesh since the latest round of violence started on August 25 - making it almost impossible for the Government, NGOs, and local inhabitants to arrange essential shelter, food and water, medicine, sanitation, and clothes for the Rohingya people. However, the influx has not stopped yet and has been continuing in some good scale even in early December. Already before the recent influx, around 300,000 Rohingyas were living in Ukhia and Teknaf sub-districts in Cox’s Bazar.

Friendship Rohingya Response

In order to respond to this humanitarian crisis, Friendship, after thorough extensive field visit and analysis, has intervened in the Rohingya camps and makeshift settlements with the following components:

1. Emergency healthcare support

2. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene support (WASH)

3. Lighting solutions (for the safety and security of women and children)

4. Recreation and socialization centres for helping people overcome the aftermath of trauma

5. Ensure geographical connectivity and linkage

Major notable efforts so far with Rohingyas:

1. Healthcare:

  • Maternity Clinics: Friendship has already completed construction of one birthing centre- which has been operational with normal vaginal delivery and other maternal and child healthcare facilities. The clinic is envisaged to serve 150 delivery cases per month, with 3000 additional beneficiaries receiving maternal and neonatal care services per month. There is one gynaecologist, 24/7 qualified medical doctors, paramedics, and nurses ensuring optimum services for the beneficiaries.
  • Friendship is also in the process of constructing and initiating one comprehensive maternity clinic- which will be capable of serving both normal and cesarean deliveries.
  • Basic clinics: 4 basic clinics are already operational and 4 others are being constructed. There are 2 paramedics, 1 Friendship Community Medic-Aide, 1 organizer, one locally based cleaner, one security guard working from each of the basic clinics.
  • Mobile pathological services cum clinic: Friendship has one mobile pathological lab operational from an ambulance which travels across Teknaf- Ukhia road and serves patients along the road with medical services and pathology.
  • mHealth: Friendship, having more than 3-year experience of implementing mobile app-based healthcare system in the remote northern river islands, plans to initiate a mHealth pilot program with Rohingyas: the paramedics and Community Medic-Aides operating in the camps will use the mHealth software already in use by Friendship in the northern riverine islands for more than 3 years now.

2. Child and Mother-Friendly space:

  • Friendship is in the process of initiating one “comprehensive child-friendly space” close to each of its eight basic clinics, in order to ensure that both physical and mental health are taken care of simultaneously for the Rohingya communities. Child-Friendly Spaces are safe spaces where communities create nurturing environments in which children, adolescents, and pregnant and lactating women can be provided with psychosocial support, through an access to free and structured play, recreation, leisure and learning activities.

3. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) support

In the field of WASH, Friendship intends to do the following with Rohingyas:

  • Tube-wells: 60 tube-wells (with the boring of 650-800 feet) are in the installation process. Each tube-well will be accessible by 300 individuals.
  • Sanitation: 180 gender-segregated latrines are under construction by Friendship.
  • Bathing space: A total of 120 gender-segregated bathing spaces are being constructed
  • Provide hygiene support in the form of soap, bleaching powder, sanitary napkins, slippers, dustbins, etc. to more than 2,000 households.

4. Ensure geographical connectivity and linkage: Friendship has constructed, with the support of local community members, 5 bamboo bridges in order to ensure connectivity between the hills. In addition, this has made it possible for many of the inhabitants to travel and seek healthcare and other services (both from Friendship and other agencies) which they would otherwise find extremely difficult or even impossible.

Dignity and respect in giving

In all of its interventions, Friendship is ensuring that the beneficiaries are treated with dignity, respect and compassion.  Awareness of these values is also being promoted throughout Friendship’s working areas.

 [1] Situation update: Rohingya Refugee crisis (Inter-Sector Coordination Group, Cox’s Bazar, December 5, 2017)

Water Tank
Water Tank
Friendship Health Clinic
Friendship Health Clinic
Bamboo Bridge
Bamboo Bridge
Mobile Pathology
Mobile Pathology
Billboard of Dignity Message
Billboard of Dignity Message
Tube well
Tube well
Maternity Clinic
Maternity Clinic
Social Space
Social Space
Maternity Clinic
Maternity Clinic
Social Space
Social Space



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Organization Information


Location: Dhaka - Bangladesh
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Friendship NGO
Dhaka, Bangladesh

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