The United Nations refugee agency has warned that Rohingya refugees face a growing multitude of protection risks whilst living in refugee camps in Bangladesh
The United Nations refugee agency has warned that Rohingya refugees face a growing multitude of protection risks whilst living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Children, who make up 55% of the Rohingya population in Bangladesh, are especially vulnerable to the deteriorating environment, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Older persons and the disabled, who make up an estimated 10% of the population, are also at significant risk.
UNHCR began distributing clothing to recently-arrived refugees on December 17, 2017 in preparation for the colder months ahead.
They have also been working to improve the quality of camp shelters by providing better quality materials and increasing technical support for construction of shelters and drainage systems.
So far, 17 airlifts have been organised to bring in more than US$9 million worth of aid relief items, including 15,000 new shelter kits and over 40,000 core relief items.
UNHCR has also started handing out compressed rice husks for cooking fuel, which stops children having to gather firewood in adjacent forests, putting themselves and the environment at risk.
Furthermore, in response to the diphtheria outbreak in Cox’s Bazar, UNHCR turned a section of its Transit Centre in Kutupalong into an isolation and treatment facility, where Médecins Sans Frontieres care for patients.
The UN World Health Organisation and UN Children’s Fund are supporting UNHCR and Bangladeshi health authorities to manage a diphtheria vaccination campaign for all children under 6 years.
A spokesperson for UNHCR Babar Baloch, said: “We are procuring antibiotics to treat 8,000 people and training refugee volunteers to disseminate information on diphtheria, detect symptoms of the disease and direct patients to health facilities.”
Read More: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with Bangladeshi authorities to urgently investigate the existence of high levels of E.coli in water drawn from wells in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar