• The third round of the diphtheria vaccination campaign will run from 10 to 25 March 2018. Meanwhile, a declining trend is noted in Acute Jaundice Syndrome, with 87 cases reported in past week compared to 169 cases in the previous week. The total number of cases is now 921. For the first time since the crisis began, routine immunization has started in 19 fixed health posts.
• A five-day case management training was run for 25 social workers who will be deployed in the camps as part of a partnership between UNICEF and the Department of Social Services, which will include foster care services for Rohingya refugee children.
• UNICEF, in partnership with Radio Naf, distributed 300 radios to the refugee community to increase coverage of lifesaving messages.
• UNICEF has 30 per cent funding available against its 2018 appeal requirement. An additional US$100.8 million is required to fully deliver on the Rohingya response.
• The Joint Response Plan for March-December 2018, coordinated by the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG), will be launched in mid-March for an expected amount of US$940million.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
4 March 2018
720,000 Children in need of humanitarian assistance
1.2 million People in need (HRP 2017-18)
389,180 Children (arrived since 25 August 2017) in need of humanitarian assistance (Based on ISCG SitRep 25 February 2018)
671,000 New arrivals since 25 August (ISCG SitRep, as of 25 February 2018. The decrease is not a result of population return, but rather the use of a more detailed and accurate methodology to estimate total population figures)
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
As of 25 February 2018, the Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) reported that almost 671,000 Rohingya refugees have entered Bangladesh since the attacks. ISCG’s rapid needs assessment indicated that 58 per cent of new arrivals are children and 60 per cent are girls and women, including a high number of pregnant (3 per cent) and lactating women (7 per cent). The estimated total affected population of existing refugees, new arrivals and host communities is 1.2 million people. This includes 720,000 affected children in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, including critical life-saving interventions.
Existing basic services for refugees and host communities have been overwhelmed due to the massive inflow of population. The high population density in the settlements has increased the risk of disease outbreaks. More than 17 million litres of clean water are required daily and 50,000 latrines with semi-permanent structures need to be constructed or maintained. Vaccination coverage amongst new arrivals is very low and deadly outbreaks of communicable diseases such as measles and diphtheria have already occurred. Risks of cholera outbreaks or acute watery diarrhoea are high during the upcoming monsoon season. These risks are being addressed in the flood and cyclone season preparedness plan. Urgent nutrition needs have been prioritized for children under 5 (including infants), pregnant and lactating women and adolescent girls, with 3 per cent of children suffering from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in the biggest settlement (Kutupalong). An estimated 400,000 Rohingya children are also in need of psychosocial support and other protection and education services.
Following the inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), covering the period from September 2017 to February 2018, the Joint Response Plan (JRP) for March-December 2018, coordinated by the ISCG is under finalization for an expected total amount of US$ 940 million. UNICEF’s 2018 Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) was developed prior to the development of the upcoming JRP and is being revisited to ensure full alignment with the JRP.
Humanitarian Leadership and Coordination
The overall humanitarian response for the Rohingya refugee crisis is facilitated by a sector-based coordination mechanism, the Inter-Sectoral Coordination Group (ISCG), established for refugee response in Cox’s Bazar. The ISCG Secretariat is guided by the Strategic Executive Group (SEG) that is designed to be an inclusive decision-making forum consisting of heads of international humanitarian organizations to ensure an effective humanitarian response to the crisis.3 On the government side, a National Task Force, established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs leads the coordination of the overall Rohingya crisis. Since the August 2017 influx, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief has been assigned to coordinate the Rohingya response with support from the Bangladesh Army and Border Guard Bangladesh. In this structure, the roles of the Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner of Cox's Bazar district are critical for day-to-day coordination. At the sub-national level, UNICEF continues to lead coordination in the nutrition sector and child protection sub-sector and co-lead the education sector with Save the Children. UNICEF also co-leads the WASH sector along with Action against Hunger. It is important to note that the cluster system has not been officially activated.
Humanitarian Strategy UNICEF’s overall strategy is to strengthen government systems to provide basic social services to refugees and host communities, using a district-specific approach. The most urgent priority is the prevention of an increase in mortality and morbidity. These objectives will be achieved through the provision of safe water, sanitation and washing facilities; SAM treatment; vaccination; and prevention and preparedness for acute watery diarrhoea and cholera outbreaks. UNICEF is addressing the protection needs of the most vulnerable groups, children and women, through the prevention of abuse and gender-based violence and by supporting case management, psychosocial support and basic education. Adolescents will receive a minimum package for adolescent health with a focus on tailored services for pregnant adolescent girls. Nutrition, WASH, child protection and genderbased violence outcomes will be bolstered through targeted cash assistance.