The most recent lockdown has impacted self-reliance activities for refugees including cash-for-work programs and livelihood opportunities of refugees. Floods in Cox’s Bazar destroyed food stocks and vegetable gardens, and left thousands of refugees cut off from humanitarian aid.
The cost of a typical food basket in Cox’s Bazar in June 2020 remained similar to previous months, but 25% higher than the same period last year. In addition to the over 11,000 shelters destroyed in the floods in Rohingya camps, a fire broke out in Camp 9 in July 2021 damaging 100 shelters. Shelters destroyed in the camps in March 2021 are still under reconstruction as the floods and movement restrictions have curtailed activities.
Destruction of WASH facilities and presence of stagnant water leave communities exposed to water-borne disease outbreaks. It is expected that movement restrictions and flooding will impact some of the reconstruction and repair efforts. Communal tension between the Rohingya and the host community have been reported since June, mostly driven by economic reasons. In the meantime, in Bhasan Char, food shortages, inadequate health services, lack of access to education, restrictions on movement, and a lack of livelihood opportunities are driving Rohingya to escape the island, many of which end up being arrested.
Protection risks are heightened due to flood-induced displacement and destruction of shelters. Child-friendly and women-friendly spaces, which are safe spaces for many of the vulnerable population, remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. The destruction of education centers by fires and floods and their use as temporary shelters highlight the importance of quickly re-establishing education facilities and shelter before a decision is made to re-open schools.
The nationwide movement restrictions which were reintroduced in April 2021 impacted the access and utilization of health facilities. It is likely that movement restrictions impacted access to food and nutrition services contributing to poor health of refugees. All health facilities in camps are fully operational despite the floods, however, affected people with heightened health needs due to floods are likely to face challenges in accessing facilities as roads are flooded. The floods coincided with a surge in Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) cases in Cox’s Bazar. Nutrition services are limited in the camps due to access issues from monsoon rains and COVID-19 movement restrictions.
Constrained access to nutrition services could place children at risk of malnutrition.