Bangladesh + 1 more

UNHCR Bangladesh Operational Update, October 2021

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Situation Report
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HIGHLIGHTS

A UN team, formed of UNHCR and WFP technical experts, conducted the first assessments and consultations on Bhasan Char to identify protection and humanitarian gaps.

Over 750,000 refugees (87% coverage) above one year of age received their first dose of cholera vaccine, with the second dose due in November. The Oral Cholera Vaccination campaign (OCV) is being conducted by the Government with support from UN agencies, as several cases of cholera have been recorded in the camps and surrounding host communities.

CONTEXT

A team of UNHCR and WFP experts, including logistics, site management, health, and community-based protection specialists, undertook a first needs assessment to Bhasan Char from 1 to 4 November. This mission, which will be followed by others, is a crucial step to identify protection and humanitarian gaps for refugees on the island and support operational planning. The assessments and consultations with refugees and NGOs already working on the island will help to define UN activities and support to the Government-led humanitarian response on Bhasan Char, as per the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the UN signed on 9 October 2021.

On 22 October, a violent attack in Camp 18 resulted in the death of at least seven refugees and left several refugees injured, including children, who received medical care.
UNHCR urged the Bangladesh authorities to take immediate measures to improve the security in the refugee camps, including holding those responsible accountable.
Measures to ensure the safety of those most at risk following the attacks are being implemented, in line with UNHCR’s protection mandate and in close cooperation with the authorities.

As of 31 October, 3,231 COVID-19 positive cases and 34 deaths have been recorded in the refugee camps since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Since August 2021,
COVID-19 test positivity and death rate significantly decreased in both the refugee camps and the host community in Cox’s Bazar district.

UNHCR and the humanitarian community continue to advocate for Rohingya refugees to be vaccinated, in line with the national vaccination plan which includes all adults above 18 years. Advocacy eorts are focusing on the resumption of the COVID-19 vaccination for refugees after the completion of the second round of the Oral Cholera Vaccination campaign.