On 17 August 2017, women and children inside the flood shelter in Kurigram District, located in the Rangpur Division, in Northern Bangladesh. Many women are finding it difficult to feed their children and provide safe water.
DHAKA/HONG KONG, 31 August 2017 – UNICEF with partners are scaling up the emergency response in the flood-affected northern and central parts of Bangladesh. UNICEF is also providing urgent support in Cox’s Bazar district with the recent influx of Rohingya children and their families. Children are the hardest hit and require the support to survive and outlive the physical and mental trauma of flood and displacement.
“During any emergency, be it flood or influx of people, children bear the biggest brunt and are at high risk of violence, abuse, chronic illness, and spread of contagious diseases. UNICEF will continue and strengthen its humanitarian support in coordination with the Government of Bangladesh in education, WASH, nutrition, health and child protection sectors for the children as they are suffering the most,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Country Representative.
UNICEF is supporting the government in responding to 1.5 million flood affected people by providing water purification tablets, hygiene kits, jerry cans and bleaching powder. UNICEF is working on the reactivation of the education system which will start when the water level recedes.
At the same time UNICEF is working in Cox’s Bazar to address the needs of Rohingya children and their families as well as host communities. UNICEF has already built eight functioning Child Friendly Spaces for Rohingya children and adolescents, providing children with psychosocial and recreational support. UNICEF has initiated the screening of children for malnutrition, and the vaccination of children aged 9-59 months against Measles and Rubella – in the makeshift settlements and hard-to-reach host communities. More than 15,200 people now have access to safe drinking water and 9,700 people are provided with improved sanitation facilities in host communities.
With the recent influx of Rohingyas –more than 80% of them are children and women- the demand has increased and UNICEF is working to mobilize more support and strengthen its existing activities. For recreational and psychosocial support to the newly arrived Rohingya children, 33 mobile CFSs are now operational with 100 recreational kits, Education in Emergency (EiE) kits and trained teachers. These mobile child friendly spaces have already provided psychosocial support to 226 newly arrived Rohingya children. Separated and unaccompanied children are also being identified through Child Friendly Spaces and community outreach. UNICEF is also ready to distribute hygiene kits and water purification tablets.
A Humanitarian Response Plan targeting the most vulnerable 330,000 people in the flood affected districts has been launch, requesting HK$37.44 million (US$4.8 million). With the recent influx of Rohingya children and their families, the funding requirement for its 2017-2018 response plan will have to be increased at least by HK$39 million (US$5 million).