- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched an Appeal for USD 140 million to support over 1.3 million host community members and Rohingya refugees residing in Cox’s Bazar District in Bangladesh.
For the nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, 2021 marks the fourth year since their mass displacement from Myanmar, preceded by decades of influxes spurned by systematic discrimination and targeted violence.
While the Government of Bangladesh and the international community have maintained the provision of immediate life-saving assistance, the needs are immense and complex challenges continue to emerge and reshape the nature of the response.
“Under the leadership of the Government of Bangladesh, we will continue to work closely with our partners and uphold our commitment to safeguard the well-being and dignity of both Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and their host communities,” said António Vitorino, IOM Director General.
“At the same time, the international community must continue to advocate for sustainable solutions in Myanmar that would eventually facilitate what all Rohingya refugees have consistently voiced as their main concern – to return home.”
The humanitarian community swiftly shifted priorities in 2020 to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on the Rohingya residing in the 34 congested refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar district. COVID-19 interventions were scaled up, and other humanitarian services adjusted, according to guidelines on access and presence to reduce the spread of infection.
A recent UN survey revealed a decrease in shelter maintenance and livelihoods, and deterioration in the protection environment. These challenges, and others such as monsoon and cyclone preparedness and response, will remain at the forefront of the response in 2021.
IOM will continue to provide life-saving emergency shelter and core relief items to support households affected by the recent devastating fire, monsoon and other disasters and shocks. The team will strengthen safe and dignified living conditions through rationalized and participatory site planning and through environmentally conscious construction and site maintenance initiatives.
The activities outlined in the appeal promote equitable access to mental health and psychosocial support services for all crisis-affected individuals. IOM also aims to encourage the use of essential healthcare packages among refugees and host communities by countering misinformation and supporting community engagement.
The impact of the crisis on the affected areas in Cox’s Bazar District likewise requires concerted efforts to support host communities affected by price increases and strained livelihoods.
IOM will enhance the livelihoods and resilience of women, girls, men and boys who are part of vulnerable host communities, and support social protection interventions in cooperation with the Government of Bangladesh. The organization will also continue to address the urgent cooking fuel needs of refugees through the provision of alternative clean fuel and technology.
“Together with the Government and our local partners, we will contribute to the peaceful coexistence of Rohingya refugees and host communities,” said Giorgi Gigauri, IOM Chief of Mission in Bangladesh. “Ensuring a community-based approach to the response, the teams will continue to improve the participation of affected people through community feedback and collective data analysis.”
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 2021 and beyond.
Download the IOM Bangladesh 2021 Appeal here.