The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing for USD 128 million in support of 1.4 million refugees and host community members in need at Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar District.
Since the influx in 2017, over 900,000 Rohingya have sought temporary refuge in Bangladesh, where the protracted crisis is now entering its fifth year.
While the Government of Bangladesh and the local and international community have been providing immediate humanitarian assistance from the onset, the needs are immense and meeting them is dependent on continued support until the Rohingya are able to voluntarily return to Myanmar in a safe, dignified and manner.
IOM continues to provide basic daily requirements to the refugees in a highly complex operation, thus it is imperative for life-saving assistance to continue.
“Even as we face other pressing humanitarian crises elsewhere in the world and continue to grapple with the pandemic, the world must not forget the Rohingya refugees,” said IOM Director General, António Vitorino. “We must continue to advocate for sustainable solutions in Myanmar that would eventually facilitate their voluntary and dignified return home. In the meantime, we continue to work together to ensure that they are safe and are able to live in dignity.”
IOM’s appeal is part of the Joint Response Plan (JRP) for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis , encompassing 136 UN agencies and NGOs, 74 of which are Bangladeshi organizations. The humanitarian actors are collectively seeking to raise more than USD 881 million through the JRP, launched on Tuesday with the Government of Bangladesh.
The humanitarian community reiterated the need for continued support and financial assistance for the refugees in Bangladesh to ensure that they are not forgotten, amid emerging crises around the world.
For IOM, healthcare is a major area of focus. Additional funding will enable IOM to maintain its network of community health workers, along with the 49 primary and secondary healthcare centers that it runs or supports. Together these centers provide over 100,000 consultations per month with some operating as COVID-19 vaccination sites, supporting the Government of Bangladesh’s roll-out of vaccines for refugees over the age of 18.
Basic health is also dependent on access to clean water and sanitation. IOM is providing access to latrines and clean water, reaching almost 300,000 people on a daily basis. This includes running the largest solar-powered water treatment and distribution facilities in a humanitarian setting, together with wastewater treatment and solid waste management.
The need for new and better-quality shelters remains high. Support is needed to continue infrastructural work to improve sites, in addition to stabilizing slopes and continuously improving living conditions. This work also entails providing accessways, drains and lighting in public spaces.
To protect the most vulnerable – especially women and children who account for over 75 percent of the population – IOM works at both the individual and community level to mitigate the risks of gender-based violence, abuse, child neglect and human trafficking. More funding is needed for Child Friendly Corners that offer children a place to interact in safety, and Women and Girls Safe Spaces designed to improve women’s access, and participation.
Every month IOM supports in delivering alternative sources of fuel to more than 96,000 households for cooking, contributing to food security while also reducing the environmental impact. Bamboo is the most widely used material in the camps, and over 700,000 bamboo poles have been processed through the IOM-run Bamboo Treatment Facility – the largest of its kind. Treating bamboo poles reduces pest damage and lengthens the bamboo’s lifespan, while also minimizing pressure on forests and ensuring cost efficiency.
“Along with the Government of Bangladesh and our partners, IOM will continue to support the Rohingya until they can safely return to Myanmar, said Fathima Nusrath Ghazzali, Officer in Charge at IOM Bangladesh. “This appeal is a critical element of the humanitarian community’s ongoing response, and the organization is grateful to its donors for their continued support and engagement.”
IOM’s Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM’s plans and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement in 2022 and beyond. The Platform is regularly updated as crises evolve, and new situations emerge.