Fire Response: One Month Later
Since March 22, IOM has been responding to the massive fire that broke out in three IOM-managed camps (9, 8W, 8E) in the Kutupalong area in Cox’s Bazar. According to the Rapid Joint Needs Assessment, the disaster affected 48,267 individuals, including 24,809 women and girls.
IOM continues to assist affected refugees and host community members with their immediate needs. Since day one, refugees have been able to access live-saving services, such as food, water, protection and health services, emergency shelters and non-food items.
Nonetheless, IOM is now focused on the long-term needs of those affected. Rebuilding efforts have already started, access roads have been cleared, some facilities rehabilitated and services reinstated.
Efforts to protect those affected are ongoing and coordination with other humanitarian actors is continuously strengthened to ensure a coherent response. Despite these efforts, with the monsoon season ahead, significant challenges remain. IOM is mobilizing all its resources to ensure the urgent and long-term needs of all those affected are met, and that fire preparedness mechanisms are in place to prevent and mitigate similar incidents.
Prior to the fire, IOM had projected a total of USD 139 million as its Humanitarian Needs for 2021. This new tragedy brings a considerable increase in costs for IOM’s operations for 2021, as USD 20 million had to be planned to the fire response. A staggering 88% of the funds required to respond to the fire have been provided so far.
The remaining funds urgently needed will be directed at mobilizing additional staff, community mobilizers and volunteers to support the response and rebuild the camp from the ground up. IOM also aims to engage community members, particularly women, in several livelihoods projects that will give them access to tailored income-generating activities.
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