Site Management and Site Development
UNHCR and its partners, working closely with government counterparts, conduct site management and site development activities in 16 of the 33 refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar district. This includes coordination of humanitarian activities across the sectors, emergency response and preparedness, working closely with refugee volunteers, refugee representatives, and communities, and ensuring a functional complaints and feedback mechanism for service delivery.
Emergency Preparedness and Response
UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations continued to focus on disaster preparedness and response after extensive flooding and devastating fires marked 2021. The Government of Bangladesh ensures building materials used in the camps reflect the temporariness of the Rohingya's stay in Bangladesh by defining the types of building materials to be used. Shelters are made from bamboo and tarpaulin which are highly flammable as well as easily damaged by strong winds and heavy rains. Additionally, the impact of fires is particularly severe due to the densely populated camps and the limited space between shelters to act as a natural fire breaks. The dry season between October to May increases the occurrence of fires. Three-wheeler vehicles equipped with water pumps and fire extinguishers (modified by UNHCR and partners) are used to put out fires. Throughout the year training is conducted for partners and refugee volunteers to respond to emergencies relating to monsoon, cyclones, and fires.
Site Management and Safety
Unit Volunteers Refugee volunteers are engaged as the “backbone” of service delivery and first responders in emergencies. Training conducted by UNHCR, and other humanitarian actors takes place throughout the year to ensure that volunteers are well equipped to respond to cyclones, monsoon, fires, floods and other emergencies in the camps. Training includes simulation exercises and demonstrations. While Safety Unit Volunteers respond to emergencies, Site Management Volunteers support their communities through site management and community outreach activities.
First Onsite Response Team (FORT)
FORT was created to respond when emergencies strike. The multifunctional team of UNHCR sta brings together diverse expertise in emergency response, including public health, mental health, psychosocial support, child protection, water, sanitation and hygiene. When FORT is deployed, the team works to support partners, refugee volunteers and government counterparts as part of the wider and more comprehensive emergency response.
Complaints, Feedback and Response Mechanism
The mechanism provides a platform for individual refugees and households to raise any issues related to service provision related to shelter, site management, and water and sanitation facilities. Cases are recorded and referred to the humanitarian agency responsible for responding to a particular issue, or the camp in charge oce. Every complaint receives a response, informing the refugee of the solution or the limitations in case the issue cannot be solved. UNHCR is working to fully digitalize the system in 2022.
Community Led Projects
Projects are identified and led by refugee communities with support from UNHCR, partners and government counterparts. The projects range from small scale construction and repair of pathways to the development of bridges and stairs to facilitate safe movement in the camps; the projects provide a cash for work opportunity for refugees.
Capacity Share Initiative With the government, UN and NGO partners, UNHCR continues to rollout an initiative developed to share information and knowledge of all aspects of the humanitarian response with Government ocials working in the camps. Exchanges on nutrition, mental health and psychosocial support, information management and energy and environment are conducted on a regular basis.
Non-Food Items (NFIs)
Throughout the year, the distribution of NFIs continues to all households in the 16 UNHCR-managed camps including regular distributions of female hygiene kits, bathing and laundry soap. Additional distributions of umbrellas, face masks, bed sheets and tote bags also take place, and targeted distributions are organized when individuals and households have a specific need.
UNHCR supports the Government in facilitating relocation within the Cox’s Bazar camps. Relocation can take place for various reasons including, to move refugees from the transit centre to the camps, to reunite families, to mitigate protection concerns, or to provide safer accommodation in areas not prone to floods and landslides. UNHCR and its partners ensure that each relocation is organized and conducted in line with protection standards.