UN and partners seek $852.4m to support Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi hosts

UN and partners seek $852.4m to support Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi hosts


Rohingya girls in a learning centre in the Rohingya refugee camps following the Myanmar Curriculum. Photo ©️ UNICEF Bangladesh/2023/Sujon

GENEVA – UN agencies, with other humanitarian partners, today called on the international community to redouble efforts to protect and assist Rohingya refugees and their host communities. Bangladesh is generously hosting nearly a million Rohingya refugees, most of whom fled Myanmar seven years ago.

The 2024 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisisis being launched under the leadership of the Bangladeshi authorities. The funding appeal seeks $852.4 million to reach some 1.35 million people including Rohingya refugees and host communities.

The plan and related financial needs is being presented to donors in Geneva by Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh; Mohammad Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Principal Secretary to the Bangladesh Prime Minister; Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees; and Amy Pope, Director General of the International Organization for Migration.

International solidarity with Bangladesh and refugee protection is needed more than ever as the conflict in Myanmar escalates.

The Joint Response Plan brings together 117 partners, nearly half of them Bangladeshi organizations. It aims to help some 1 million Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and on the island of Bhasan Char, and 346,000 from host communities, with food, shelter, health care, access to drinkable water, protection services, education and livelihood opportunities and skills development.

Some 95 per cent of Rohingya households in Bangladesh are vulnerable and remain dependent on humanitarian assistance. Sustained assistance is critically and urgently needed, particularly by women and children, who make up more than 75 per cent of the targeted refugee population, and face heightened risks of abuse, exploitation and gender-based violence. More than half of the refugees in the camps are under 18, languishing amidst limited opportunities for education, skills-building and livelihoods.

The Government of Bangladesh, local communities and aid agencies need sustained international support to respond to increasing needs as this humanitarian crisis remains largely out of the international spotlight.

Underfunding in previous years has had serious implications as Rohingya women, children and men — who fled to Bangladesh to escape violence and persecution in Myanmar — struggle to meet basic needs and their plight risks slipping into obscurity. Rohingya refugees remain in limbo relying on humanitarian assistance to survive in crowded camps plagued by insecurity and natural disasters.

The international community must continue funding life-saving and life-sustaining assistance to refugees in the camps, investing in education, skills training and livelihood opportunities. This is a lifeline to refugees struggling to meet their basic needs and supplement limited humanitarian assistance. Steps are also needed to ensure pledges made at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva in December are fulfilled. These included enhancing self-reliance for Rohingya to provide hope and reduce the number of dangerous boat journeys taken.

For further details, please contact:
Shari Yasmin Nijman, [email protected] +88 01894 802 700
Syed Md Tafhim, [email protected] +88 01850 018 235

WFP to increase food ration from US$8 to US$10 for all Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar

WFP to increase food ration from US$8 to US$10 for all Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar

DHAKA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is gearing up to restore its critical food assistance for the entire Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar. Starting 1 January 2024, WFP will increase the food ration from US$8 to US$10 per person per month, and gradually add locally fortified rice to its food assistance package.  

“The year 2023 was a tumultuous one for the Rohingya in Bangladesh, who lived through multiple fire outbreaks, cyclones, and, for the first time, ration cuts. The rapid deterioration of the food and nutrition situation in the camps is extremely worrying. Through all this, the donor community stood with the Rohingya – it’s all thanks to its generous contributions we can now have this increase and also add locally fortified rice to WFP’s food assistance package,” said Dom Scalpelli, WFP Country Director in Bangladesh. 

A sharp decline in resources led to a reduction in the Rohingya’s food entitlement in 2023. In March, the food voucher value for the entire population in the Cox’s Bazar camps was reduced from US$12 to US$10, and in June, to US$8 per person per month. Even before the ration cut, 40 percent of children under five were chronically malnourished and 12 percent were acutely malnourished.

Since then, WFP’s monitoring has shown a sharp decrease in food consumption and an increase in negative coping mechanisms among the population. By November, 90 percent of the population did not have adequate food consumption, up from 79 percent in June. Even more worrying is the fast deterioration of the nutrition status among children.

The preliminary results of the latest nutrition survey show that global acute malnutrition (GAM) has risen to 15.1 percent – the highest since the onset of the 2017 influx, exceeding the emergency threshold of 15 percent, according to WHO emergency classification.

In 2023, the refugees again endured multiple fire hazards and repeatedly cyclones, monsoon floods and landslides. Their vulnerability has further deepened due to the rising violence and insecurity in the camps, as well as human trafficking. As of 30 November, 3,468 Rohingya had embarked on risky boat journeys, almost half are women and children.

In addition to increasing the ration, WFP will begin the distribution of locally fortified rice to the Rohingya population. This will commence in one or two camps and gradually extend to all camps in Cox’s Bazar and on Bhasan Char Island.

“We remain fully committed to the Rohingya while supporting vulnerable Bangladeshis who have so generously hosted the Rohingya over the years. We are immensely grateful to all our donors for their unwavering support, and we count on them to step up even further to ensure we can provide the Rohingya with a full and nutritious ration in 2024,” added Scalpelli.

WFP currently has a funding gap of US$61 million to increase the food ration to the full amount, now US$12.5, with locally fortified rice added.

Photo Credit: WFP/Saikat Mojumder

Caption: Rohingya refugees collect their monthly food ration at a World Food Programme (WFP) e-voucher outlet in Cox’s Bazar. Starting January 1, 2024, WFP will increase the ration from $8 to $10 and gradually add locally fortified rice to its food assistance package. 

#                 #                   #

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on X @wfp_bangladesh, Facebook @WFPinBangladesh

For more information please contact:

Kun Li, Head of Partnerships, Communications and Reporting, WFP Bangladesh

Mobile: +88 013 2284 6137 Email: [email protected]

Tareq Salahuddin, Communications Officer, WFP Bangladesh

Mobile: +88 017 3009 5592 Email: [email protected]

CERF allocates $8 million to the Rohingya refugee response in Bangladesh

CERF allocates $8 million to the Rohingya refugee response in Bangladesh

©️ ISCG, Saikat Mojumder

The United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated $8 million to provide support to almost a million Rohingya refugees staying in camps in Cox’s Bazar district and on the island of Bhasan Char. The funding allocation to Bangladesh is a part of the CERF initiative to support underfunded humanitarian operations in 14 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East.

Commenting on the allocation, the UN humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, said: “It is a cruel reality that in many humanitarian operations, aid agencies are scraping along with very little funding right at a time when people’s needs compel them to scale up. Thanks to the generosity of a vast range of donors, we can count on CERF to fill some of the gaps. Lives are saved as a result. But we need individual donors to step up as well – this is a fund by all and for all.”

In Bangladesh, under the leadership of the country’s UN Resident Coordinator and in consultation with the government of Bangladesh and local NGOs, the funding allocation will support priority programmes for refugees and host communities, who do not have any other source of support. Humanitarian agencies have appealed for $876 million this year to assist around 1.47 million people, including Rohingya refugees and local Bangladeshis. However, as of 6 September, funds for the Joint Response Plan only reached 30.6 per cent of this appeal.

“The UN in Bangladesh welcomes the decision of the Emergency Relief Coordinator to provide funding to the severely underfunded Rohingya Response to support refugees and the host community. This allocation is especially important in light of the funding shortfall in the humanitarian support for the Rohingya refugee response. The refugees remain entirely dependent on international community funding and are in need of help,” said the UN Resident Coordinator, Gwyn Lewis.

The CERF allocation announced today will also help scale up humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan and Yemen ($20 million each), Burkina Faso ($9 million), Mali ($8 million), Myanmar ($9 million), Haiti ($8 million), Venezuela ($8 million), the Central African Republic ($6.5 million), Mozambique ($6.5 million), Cameroon ($6 million), the Occupied Palestinian Territories ($6 million), and Malawi ($4 million).

In addition to Bangladesh, the allocation will also support refugee operations in Uganda ($6 million).

UN and Partners Appeal for Sustained Support as Rohingya Refugee Influx Marks 6th Year in Bangladesh

UN and Partners Appeal for Sustained Support as Rohingya Refugee Influx Marks 6th Year in Bangladesh

Rohingya women receiving tailoring training at a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: ISCG, Saikat Mojumder.

23 Aug 2023 – The UN and partners call for renewed commitment from the international community for financial support to sustain the humanitarian response and political support to find solutions for nearly one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

25 August marks six years since over 700,000 Rohingya women, men and children from Myanmar fled to Bangladesh. They joined hundreds of thousands of other Rohingya who had previously sought refuge in the country.

As the humanitarian condition in the world’s largest refugee settlement worsens, the challenges surrounding this protracted crisis continue to increase. Steep funding decline forces humanitarian actors to focus on the most critical and life-saving needs. For the first time, it has led to the reduction of refugees’ food assistance, raising concerns about cascading dramatic consequences: rising malnutrition, school dropout, child marriage, child labour and gender-based violence.

With their strength and resilience, the Rohingya refugees have formed the backbone of the humanitarian response over the past six years and supported the communities hosting them.

UN and partners urge support to enable Rohingya refugees to benefit from education and skills development, vocational training, and other forms of capacity-building. This will equip refugees for their eventual return and ensure their dignity, safety, and productivity in Bangladesh. This can empower them to address some of their needs, as the refugees do not wish to rely on diminishing humanitarian aid.

A dignified and sustainable return to Myanmar remains the primary solution to this crisis. Rohingya refugees continue to tell us they want to return to Myanmar when it is safe to do so voluntarily. The international community must renew its efforts to make that possible. As the United Nations remains ready to support efforts to create conditions conducive to sustainable return, the UN and its partners need to be provided unimpeded, meaningful, and predictable access in Rakhine State in Myanmar, including assisting, and monitoring the return of refugees.

The collective goal should be to ensure Rohingyas’ voluntary return to Myanmar — to their places of origin or choice, being able to move freely and access documentation, citizenship pathways, services, and income-generation opportunities to rebuild their lives.

Until they can return, they remain in refugee camps in an area off the coast of the Bay of Bengal, which is extremely vulnerable to cyclones, flooding, landslides, fire outbreaks and the impacts of climate change. These devastate the congested camps, and their frequency barely leaves time to rebuild shelters made of bamboo and tarpaulin before the next disaster strikes. UN continues to prioritise a climate action strategy, advocating for weather-and fire-resistant refugee shelter materials to save millions of dollars in maintenance and rebuilding costs.

Hosting nearly one million Rohingya refugees, Bangladesh has demonstrated humanitarian commitments and a generosity that must be acknowledged through continued investment in Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi host communities. The international community must step up to share responsibility for the response. Stakeholders are encouraged to expand their support and commitments through pledges in support of the Rohingya situation at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva in December 2023.  

Humanitarian agencies have appealed for $876 million this year to assist around 1.47 million people, including Rohingya refugees and local Bangladeshis. However, as of mid-August 2023, funds for the Joint Response Plan only reached 28.9 per cent of this appeal, dismally highlighting the need for consistent and predictable financial backing to prevent a broader humanitarian crisis.

Unveiling the General Health Card: A Comprehensive Health Companion for Rohingya Refugees

Unveiling the General Health Card: A Comprehensive Health Companion for Rohingya Refugees

A Landmark Step Towards Accessible and Informed Medical Care

In an event held today, the Rohingya refugee community witnessed a monumental stride towards accessible and comprehensive healthcare with the introduction of the General Health Card. The initiative promises to improve healthcare services for thousands living in the camps, facilitating a seamless flow of medical information and enhancing overall well-being.

The Health Sector Lead agency, WHO, spearheaded the development of the General Health Card, an effort that underscores collaboration between healthcare providers, refugee communities, and international organisations. The event, attended by the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC), marked the culmination of meticulous planning and dedicated work.

Designed to consolidate individual medical information, the General Health Card is poised to transform healthcare delivery within the camps. It enables doctors and health care providers to access a patient’s complete health history, including treatment received, surgical procedures, medical investigations, and more – all in one place.

The introduction of the General Health Card carries far-reaching benefits, including:

  • Immediate Accessibility: Medical information is readily available whenever needed, eliminating delays in diagnosis and treatment.
  • Informed Care: Healthcare providers better understand patients’ health history, leading to tailored treatment plans.
  • Continuity of Care: Medical records are portable, ensuring consistent and well-informed care during transitions.

The development of the General Health Card was made possible through funding and support from the UNHCR, IOM, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO.

General Health Cards will be distributed at designated health facilities within the camps. Community Health Workers will guide residents through the process, ensuring a smooth and organised distribution.

The introduction of the General Health Card signifies a monumental step towards empowering Rohingya refugees with accessible and informed healthcare. By providing an avenue for individuals to actively engage in their healthcare journey, this initiative is poised to positively impact the lives of thousands.