UNICEF is stepping up its monsoon preparedness in Rohingya camps. Facilities at risk of floods and landslides are being reinforced, decommissioned or relocated. Five diarrhoea treatment centres are being constructed, and contingency stock (e.g. hygiene kits, aquatabs, chlorine, soap and buckets) is being prepositioned. Meanwhile, a network of 1,000 community mobilization volunteers are proactively engaging the community on how they can protect themselves during the upcoming monsoon/cyclones.
In response to recent assessments, which indicate that up to 70 per cent of water points have some level of contamination, a shock chlorination campaign is underway.
UNICEF has 41 per cent funding available against its 2018 appeal requirement. An additional US$84.8 million is required to fully deliver on the Rohingya response.
The Joint Response Plan (JRP) for March-December 2018, coordinated by the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) will be launched on 16 March. Once the JRP is published, UNICEF’s 2018 Humanitarian Action for Children will be revised to ensure full alignment.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
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
Existing basic services for refugees and host communities have been overwhelmed due to the massive increase in population. Over 17 million litres of clean water are required daily and 50,000 semi-permanent latrines need to be constructed or maintained. Prior 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 or acute watery diarrhoea outbreaks will be 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), with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) rates as high as three per cent recorded. 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 is under finalization. Once the JRP is published, UNICEF’s 2018 Humanitarian Action for Children will be revised accordingly.
Humanitarian Leadership and Coordination
The humanitarian response for the Rohingya refugee crisis is facilitated by the Inter-Sectoral Coordination Group (ISCG) 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. 1 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 (MoDMR) has been assigned to coordinate the Rohingya response with support from the Bangladesh Army and Border Guard Bangladesh. The Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) and the Deputy Commissioner of Cox's Bazar district are critical for day-to-day coordination. At the sub-national level, UNICEF leads the nutrition sector and child protection sub-sector, and co-leads 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.
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 also 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.