UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2018 - Bangladesh
Renewed violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, which began on 25 August 2017, has driven 655,000 Rohingya—a long discriminated against community in Myanmar—into Bangladesh. With this new influx, the total number of Rohingya refugees and local affected communities in Bangladesh in need of humanitarian assistance has reached 1.2 million. An estimated 58 per cent of the new arrivals are children. The Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar are highly vulnerable, with many having experienced severe trauma and living in extremely difficult conditions in overcrowded camps. Existing basic services for refugees and host communities have been overwhelmed due to this sudden and massive increase in the population. The high population density in unsanitary camps has increased the risk of disease outbreaks and 1.2 million people urgently require water and sanitation services. The nutrition situation is also of concern, with 3 per cent of children suffering from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition (SAM). An estimated 400,000 Rohingya children are also in need of psychosocial support and other protection and education services.
In Bangladesh, UNICEF’s overall strategy will be to strengthen government systems to provide basic social services to refugees and host communities, using a district-specific approach. The most urgent priorities are to prevent any increase in mortality and morbidity and prevent outbreaks of communicable diseases among refugees and host communities. These aims will be achieved through the provision of safe water, sanitation and washing facilities; SAM treatment; vaccination against preventable diseases; and preparedness for acute watery diarrhoea/cholera outbreaks. UNICEF will also be addressing the protection needs of the most vulnerable groups, children and women through prevention of abuse, sexual and gender-based violence and by supporting case management, psychosocial support and the provision of basic education. UNICEF will strengthen its adolescent programming by providing a minimum package for adolescent health and focusing support on married adolescent girls. Cash and vouchers will be used to further strengthen nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection and gender-based violence interventions. UNICEF will continue to work closely with local government departments and will lead or co-lead the WASH, education and nutrition sectors and the child protection sub-sector. UNICEF will also strengthen its own and partner capacities for emergency preparedness for both epidemics and natural hazards.
Results from 2017
As of 31 October 2017, UNICEF had US$15.1 million available against the US$76.1 million appeal (20 per cent funded). Due to the limited funding, UNICEF advanced US$11 million from its internal Emergency Programme Fund to ensure timely response and allow for the scale up of humanitarian assistance. UNICEF met or exceeded its targets for measles vaccination (222 per cent); oral cholera vaccination (99.9 per cent); SAM treatment (101 per cent); pregnant and lactating women reached with counselling on infant young child feeding (111 per cent); and pregnant women receiving antenatal consultations (120 per cent). Since 25 August, UNICEF has reached nearly 229,000 people with clean water (51 per cent); more than 343,000 people with appropriate latrines and washing facilities (76 per cent) and over 197,000 people with hygiene messages (44 per cent). Nearly 242,000 children and pregnant and lactating women received micronutrient supplementation (72 per cent); nearly 104,000 children received psychosocial support and child protection services through child-friendly and adolescent-safe spaces (58 per cent); 1,825 unaccompanied and separated children were identified and received case management services; nearly 28,000 adolescent boys and girls gained life skills (80 per cent); and nearly 47,000 children are attending UNICEF-supported learning centres (23 per cent).