“I am feeling very happy to get the opportunity to package masks. This has increased my self-esteem and confidence as previously I was neglected due to my inability to use my right hand.” – Isda Khatun, a Rohingya person with a disability living in a camp in Ukhiya. Isda is one of many Rohingya persons with disabilities who are engaged in a local mask-making initiative. Isda and her fellow Rohingya package cloth masks that have been produced by vulnerable households in the host communities who are facing the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 and were targeted for livelihood support. The masks are packaged with key information and education and communication (IEC) materials and then distributed in Cox’s Bazar Sadar and Kutabdia upazilas.
Food Security Sector’s Livelihoods Working Group (LHWG) is coordinating this inter-agency effort including national and international NGOs and UN agencies. With production support from both the host communities and Rohingya refugees, LHWG partners have distributed 2.2 million reusable cloth masks to approximately 674,800 individuals in the camps and 432,800 individuals in host communities as of 3 September 2020.