Myanmar, resulting in mass displacement of civilians and the suspension of most aid activities. Since then, over 500,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed the border into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, joining some 300,000 that had fled in earlier waves of displacement.
Many new spontaneous settlements have sprung up in already congested areas. There are currently two formal refugee camps, three makeshift settlements, six spontaneous sites, as well as two main communities hosting refugees. Along the border regions of Bandarban and Cox’s Bazar, groups have settled in or near no man’s land, presenting additional access challenges. On 14 September, the Government of Bangladesh allocated 2,000 acres of forest land to set up a new camp in Ukhia Upazila. People have begun arriving at the new site before infrastructure and services have been fully established.
The speed and scale of the influx has resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency. The Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar is highly vulnerable, having fled conflict with very few possessions and experienced severe trauma.
The humanitarian response to the influx of Rohingya to Cox’s Bazar is coordinated by the Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG), established in 2017 and led by IOM at the request of the Government of Bangladesh.
The present appeal outlines IOM’s funding requirements from September 2017 until February 2018 in line with the Humanitarian Response Plan. IOM operations focus on six sectors of assistance: Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI), Site Management, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, Coordination, Protection and one working group: Communication with Communities (CwC). IOM leads the coordination of two sectors (Shelter/NFI and Site Management) as well as the CwC working group.
Note: the projects below are in line with the IOM Appeal - Rohingya Refugee Crisis (September 2017 - February 2018) which is in line with the interagency Humanitarian Response Plan for Bangladesh developed by the Humanitarian Country Team.
- Shelter and Non-Food Items: IOM distributed 40,000 tarpaulins reaching 200,000 people. As heavy rains affected the new arrivals and the humanitarian response alike, IOM has distributed over 15,000 umbrellas. Over 2,800 NFI kits, 4,600 sleeping mats and 4,200 blankets were distributed in this period, with female headed households and families with disabled members prioritized in the distributions. IOM procured a further 140,000 humanitarian shelter grade plastic sheeting and 435,000 NFI to address the acute and immense needs of shelter and household NFI. IOM leads the coordination of the Shelter & NFI sector, where 22 organizations participate in the coordination of the response.
- Site Management: IOM is working closely with partners to identify and mobilize site management agencies to improve coordination of services at site level, referring critical gaps in assistance to relevant actors and sector lead agencies. Three IOM site management teams are currently working in key areas of Kutupalong, Ulchiprang and Balukhali, engaging humanitarian actors and providing information and referral services to the Rohingya population The Site Development Task Force, composed of IOM, UNHCR and the Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Committee (RRRC), is currently focusing on improving access to the refugees population with road construction in the Kutupalong extension site and development of the site plan, using a collaborative multi-sector approach to ensure better coordination with all relevant stakeholders. A zoning map to facilitate the coordination of mapping and delivery of services in the extension area/new site development has been developed and an information management and mapping strategy for more effective data collection established. So far IOM built 650m of brick road and 3,000 m pathways through cash for work.
- WASH: 243,000 liters of water has been supplied to Unchiprang. On average,18,000 liters of water is supplied daily, serving 2,400 people (7.5 liters per capita per day). 6 tube wells have been bored. 8,480 families have received 10 liter jerry cans. A total of 400 emergency pit latrines and 24 Mobile toilets have been installed. 500 families received Hygiene kits. The installation of WASH facilities is being scaled up to meet the demand in coordination with other actors as well as the Government of Bangladesh.
- Protection: Since August, IOM protection team scaled up prioritization of most at risk individuals and referred them to specific services, including medical health facilities. Psychosocial First Aid (FPA) was provided to more than 1500 individuals and women safe spaces set- up. GBV survivors were able to be redirected to appropriate services, including medical ones. As a prevention and immediate support tool, 2135 dignity kits and 550 solar lamps were distributed to most at risk women and girls residing in the settlements. The team started to support the identification of unaccompanied and separated children for documentation, tracing and family reunification while identifying interim care arrangements and alternative care.
- Communication with Communities: IOM is responding to the information needs of affected communities through the deployment of the Communication with Communities field team. Field team members are deployed to major sites, providing referrals and disseminating life-saving messages to the Rohingya arriving. IOM volunteers are supporting the efforts and establishing information hubs in a number of critical locations. When necessary, field teams are deployed to address emerging issues and provide initial outreach services to developing sites. At the working group level, IOM is deploying resources to ensure the quality and effectiveness of messaging, and establish a joint feedback mechanism that can consolidate incoming information and inform sectoral responses.