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UNHCR provide Emergency Covid-19 Cash Assistance to the Host Community of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh [EN/BN]

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Today, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Government of Bangladesh, celebrated the inauguration of a new Cash Based Intervention (CBI) programme to support vulnerable Bangladeshi families in the Cox’s Bazar District.

Over the course of a year, more than 35,887 families will benefit from cash support in monthly instalments or one-off payments in both Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-districts, as part of the COVID-19 response.

The programme supports 16,887 families as part of the existing social protection programme of the Government of Bangladesh through cash from the Bangladesh Post Office. A further 19,000 targeted families have been selected for emergency cash assistance through ‘Mobile Money’, following assessments conducted in early 2020, using a combination of socio-economic criteria. More than 5,600 families have already received their first instalments.

“I hope this support will reach the truly vulnerable people in the host communities. There are many vulnerable people in Cox’s Bazar, and I hope that together we can also support them. I would like to take this opportunity to thank UNHCR and their partners for the magnitude of support provided to both the Rohingya camps and the host communities”, said the Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Md Kamal Hossain at today’s online virtual inauguration ceremony.

UNHCR’s aims to support both refugees and host communities by providing increased choice and dignity and promoting social cohesion and interaction between the refugees and the local population of Bangladesh.

To avoid direct contact and minimise the risks of transmission of COVID-19, part of the Cash Based Intervention programme is being implemented through ‘Mobile Money’ by a variety of UNHCR partners, including BDRCS, BRAC, CNRS, Mukti and World Vision, as well as through agreements with bKash and Nagad.

“Hosting the world’s largest refugee camp, the Government and people of Bangladesh have shown to the world what humanity and support means. At times of global uncertainty and socio-economic struggle due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNHCR extends the hand of financial support to host communities in support to lost livelihoods” said Marin Din Kajdomcaj, Head of Operations for UNHCR in Cox’s Bazar.

For the second year in a row, leading Qatari philanthropist, Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani made the largest individual contribution to UNHCR of USD $43 million. Part of the donation is aimed at helping create sustainable and dignified conditions for Rohingya refugees and members of the host communities in Cox’s Bazar through CBI interventions.

ENDS

Media contacts

In Cox’s Bazar: Louise Donovan donovan@unhcr.org; +880 18 4732 7279
In Dhaka: Mostafa Mohammad Sazzad Hossain; hossaimo@unhcr.org; +8801313046459