Since a renewed outbreak of conflict in Rakhine State of Myanmar in August 2017, another 702,000 Rohingya refugees arrived at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh; increasing the total refugee population to 915,000. Approximately, 1.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the area.
CEDAR and other Integral Alliance(IA) members have been responding to the situation by not only providing support to the Rohingya refugees, but also assisting the host communities. CEDAR has allocated funds to support Tearfund Bangladesh and the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) to install facilities like latrines, tube wells, solar light systems; distribute items such as cooking stoves and mosquito nets; and set up Child Friendly Spaces for children and youth to learn. In host communities, we will form Self Help Groups to help improve their livelihoods and increase household income and organise disaster management committees to build capacity of locals and refugees on disaster prevention and disaster risk reduction.
A crowded environment, especially in a refugee camp settlement, yields the Rohingya community vulnerable to communicable diseases. Amongst the community, nearly 55% are children and 52% are women and young girls. Within this group, malnourished children, pregnant and lactating mothers are in dire need of healthcare support. In February, CEDAR began its support to IA partners, Food for the Hungry and Medical Teams International, who are in partnership with the United Nations, to strengthen healthcare services in Kutupalong camp. Our work include: train community health workers who will be sent out to do regular home visits and refer those who need proper care to further medical support; set up health posts and health clinic to provide basic healthcare services, so malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women are taken care of.
Photos taken by our colleagues during their visit to Cox’s Bazar:
Besides visiting the refugee camp settlement, our colleagues had a chance to meet with members from a surrounding host community. Their lives are affected by the influx of Rohinya refugees, yet, one of the members, Deluara’s story touched our hearts for her generosity and love.
The future of the Rohingyas are uncertain and they need our long-term support. Let us respond to Deluara’s request to continue support the Rohingyas and frontline workers in prayers.
- It is monsoon season which means the area face risks of floods and landslides that would impede humanitarian work. These may easily worsen the hygiene and health of the community. Pray that we could be ready with sufficient aid supplies stored in camps.
- There have been reported cases of human trafficking with traffickers taking advantage of vulnerable Rohingya children, youth, and women. Some of them were forcibly sold for sex trade. Pray that our just and loving God protects the weak and stop the hideous acts.
- Pray for the political situation in Myanmar that the new president and government will secure rights of the Rohingya community.