Bangladesh has seen 650,000 people cross its borders, fleeing violence in Rakhine State and the Red Cross has been at the coalface providing relief.
One of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in this region for decades was triggered in 2017 with the arrival of 655,000 people into Bangladesh. Fleeing violence in Rakhine State, they began arriving on 25 August last year, many carrying almost nothing, and they are now almost entirely dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic needs. It is one of the largest operations in the world for the Red Cross Red Crescent, with 433,000 people reached so far by the organisation – with emergency supplies like food, jerry cans, tarpaulins, ropes and toiletries.
The Red Cross Red Crescent has distributed 97,700 food parcels while 43,400 households have been provided with tarpaulins and ropes 25,800 households have been given blankets and 19,800 households have received sleeping mats. Shelter assistance is particularly urgent at the moment because until February, temperatures can drop below 10 degrees Celsius at night.
Many people are malnourished, unvaccinated, dehydrated and have settled in areas with no pre-existing infrastructure or services. They are extremely vulnerable, including to an outbreak of diarrhoea, measles or other diseases. While 137 bathing facilities have been constructed and 41,200 households received hygiene kits, there are still significant gaps in food, water, sanitation shelter and healthcare.
Many displaced people have fled traumatic events and the stress of life in the settlement risks a further deterioration in their mental health and psychosocial well-being. Critical concerns include child protection, and protection from human trafficking and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). During the registration process, Red Cross Red Crescent teams identified vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied children, women-headed households, older people and people with disabilities, enabling the movement to follow up with more targeted assistance.
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Red Cross Red Crescent in Bangladesh in numbers…
- The Red Cross has distributed 97,700 food parcels
- 49,200 households received jerry cans
- 43,400 households have been provided with tarpaulins and ropes
- 41,200 households received hygiene kits
- The Red Cross has given 25,800 households blankets while
- 19,800 households have received sleeping mats
- 320,100 litres of safe water have been distributed
- 137 bathing facilities have been constructed