Towards the end of September 2020, law and order deteriorated in some parts of the camp settlement of 861,5451 displaced people. According to local media reports, up to 14 October 2020, incidents of armed conflict occurring after sundown between gangs in registered and non-registered camps resulted in about 10 deaths. The police are responding to the situation on the ground, while military involvement remains discreet. Humanitarian agencies are maintaining close contact with the military which has been professional and transparent, providing briefings on the dynamics of the conflict, and their tactical approach to the situation. They are committed towards mitigating any risk of misperceptions about the camp people, noting that most of them are innocent and suffering amid the escalation of violence. In this connection, fencing around the perimeter of the camp settlement is being erected by the authorities to help improve security in the area. It is understood that all fencing works are to be completed by the end of the year.
The Inter Sector Coordination Group of humanitarian agencies (other than the Red Cross Red Crescent which is an observer at the ISCG) has begun the planning process for the Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the year 2021 – an annual plan to support programming for displaced people from Rakhine and affected host communities. The JRP will also address COVID-19.
PMO Integrated Preparedness and Response to the monsoon, upcoming cyclone season and COVID-19
The Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP)2 and BDRCS, with support from IFRC and the American Red Cross, continue to address the threats of monsoon-associated hazards and the spread of COVID-19. In this connection, CPP camp volunteers were deployed by respective Site Management Support (SMS) agencies to respond to different incidents/events in the camps. The volunteers were engaged to collect damage information, verify damage reports support the relocation of people whose shelters were severely damaged by the rains, rescue people from waterlogged/landslide-affected areas, and clear debris in areas affected by landslides. Between September 1 and 30, 561 camp volunteers (419 males and 142 females) were mobilized on multiple occasions to engage in various responses in 12 out of 34 camps. For more information on damage sustained as a result of the rains, please visit IFRC Go.
Between 15 March and 30 September, 935,741 people in camp and host communities were reached through the integrated COVID-19 response. As part of this response, 3,838 volunteers including 3,400 CPP camp volunteers were mobilized to disseminate COVID-19 key messages and handwashing demonstrations in all 34 camps. A total of 256,832 information, education and communication (IEC) materials were produced and distributed, while 94,560 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) were provided to BDRCS frontline staff and community volunteers. The BDRCS Integrated Isolation and Treatment Centre (IITC) in Camp 2E continued its operations on a 24-hour basis. Up to 30 September 2020, a total of 914 suspected persons with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms from camps were treated, while seven patients were admitted. The IITC has started sample collection from COVID-19 suspected patients. In September, samples were collected from 49 patients.
An inventory assessment of life saving equipment was conducted by the Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) (run jointly by the Bangladesh government and BDRCS with IFRC/American Red Cross support), in all 34 camps to replenish required equipment. In addition, ‘Basic Disaster Preparedness’ training for CPP camp volunteers was conducted in six camps (8W,12, 15,16, 18 and 20 and 23) to train the volunteers on cyclone signals and the flag system, community preparedness, and other hazards in the camp context. A refresher on disaster preparedness was also conducted for host community volunteers.