Bangladesh + 1 more

UNHCR Bangladesh Operational Update, June 2021

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Situation Report
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Population Data 889,704 refugees in Cox’s Bazar District. 854,024 refugees who arrived since 2017 and are registered under the Government of BangladeshUNHCR registration exercise, along with 35,680 refugees who have been residing in the two registered camps since the 1990s. 52% Female 51% Children 4% Older persons 48% Male 45% Adult 1% Persons with disablities 2021 Funding Funded 49% Unfunded 51% Bangladesh continued to see a significant increase in COVID-19 positive cases in June. In the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, as of 30 June, 1,775 positive cases and 20 deaths had been recorded since March 2020. Worryingly, over 1,200 of these cases were recorded in May and June alone.

While Rohingya refugees are included in the national vaccination plan, their vaccination remains on hold, pending the arrival of vaccines to Bangladesh. Sustained advocacy for equitable access continues, with UNHCR proactively supporting the Government of Bangladesh in advocating for a rapid delivery of COVAX vaccine allocations for Bangladeshis and Rohingya refugees. As of the date of publication of this document, the Government of Bangladesh has approved the provision of vaccines for the first cohort of refugees, those aged 55+ (some 47,240 refugees), to be rolled out in August in the camps in Cox’s Bazar.

Continuing lockdown measures have reduced the humanitarian footprint, and restricted activities in both the camps and surrounding host communities. Protection, including registration, gender-based violence prevention and response and child protection, as well as site management activities are not considered “critical” under a directive from the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) issued on 28 April. This has created gaps in in-person services such as mediation, legal counselling and individual support to vulnerable women, children, elderly, and disabled persons which is normally conducted by trained protection actors. UNHCR continues to advocate for the inclusion of protection and site management as critical activities.
Refugee and host community volunteers continue to contribute significantly to the humanitarian response while access to the camps remains limited.

Operational Context

Bangladesh continued to see a significant increase in COVID-19 positive cases in June. In the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, as of 30 June, 1,775 positive cases and 20 deaths had been recorded since March 2020. Worryingly, over 1,200 of these cases were recorded in May and June alone.

While Rohingya refugees are included in the national vaccination plan, their vaccination remains on hold, pending the arrival of vaccines to Bangladesh. Sustained advocacy for equitable access continues, with UNHCR proactively supporting the Government of Bangladesh in advocating for a rapid delivery of COVAX vaccine allocations for Bangladeshis and Rohingya refugees. As of the date of publication of this document, the Government of Bangladesh has approved the provision of vaccines for the first cohort of refugees, those aged 55+ (some 47,240 refugees), to be rolled out in August in the camps in Cox’s Bazar.

Continuing lockdown measures have reduced the humanitarian footprint, and restricted activities in both the camps and surrounding host communities. Protection, including registration, gender-based violence prevention and response and child protection, as well as site management activities are not considered “critical” under a directive from the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) issued on 28 April. This has created gaps in in-person services such as mediation, legal counselling and individual support to vulnerable women, children, elderly, and disabled persons which is normally conducted by trained protection actors. UNHCR continues to advocate for the inclusion of protection and site management as critical activities.

Refugee and host community volunteers continue to contribute significantly to the humanitarian response while access to the camps remains limited.