Photos: Action Against Hunger Bangladesh
Providing Futures for refugees in Cox's Bazar
We take a look at one of the ways we are supporting Rohingya refugees to build futures for themselves and their families in Bangladesh.
Aug 29 2018
One million Rohingya refugees currently packed into a tiny area of eastern Bangladesh. Kutupalong-Balukhali ‘mega-camp’ became the world’s largest refugee camp when hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled a brutal military-led crackdown in neighbouring Rakhine State, Myanmar, in late August 2017.
Approximately one year since the mass exodus of Rohingya refugees, our teams on the ground continue to respond to the complex and urgent needs of both newly arrived refugees and those who have lived in the difficult conditions of this ‘mega-camp’ for many months or even years.
Action Against Hunger is the lead international humanitarian organisation in Bangladesh, collaborating with the United Nations to provide emergency water, sanitation and hygiene interventions to help prevent outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery within the camps. Our teams are also providing vital hot meals, as well as life-saving medical and nutritional treatments, and psychological ‘first aid’.
Our staff and Rohingya volunteers are running 10 community kitchens to provide over 11,000 meals every day. We are also operating 18 mobile healthcare centres, and five 24-hour healthcare centres.
The level of acute malnutrition in the camps is significantly above the emergency threshold, according to the World Health Organisation, and mothers and children are at highest risk. More than 18,500 infants suffering from severe acute malnutrition are being treated, and 19,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women have sought medical assistance and advice on looking after themselves and their children.
Hasina Begum (28), a single mother of a two-year old daughter and a four-year old son, arrived in Kutupalong refugee camp in 2007. Her husband tragically died two years ago and she is now the sole breadwinner for her family.
Last year, cyclone Mora battered and destroyed her hut. With the help of her father, who also lives inside the camp, she made a makeshift tent to provide temporary shelter for her family, but the future for Hasina and her children was fragile and uncertain.
Financial support from Action Against Hunger changed this. Hasina said, if she had not received an unconditional cash grant, she would have struggled to survive and provide for her children. After receiving 8000 BDT (equivalent to approximately £75), Hasina developed a small business plan with Action Against Hunger and spent 5000 BDT on a sewing machine. She used the remainder to rebuild her house and provide safety and security for her children.
As a refugee with limited means to make an income, Hasina realised that she could finally use her love of sewing and textiles to support her family and make a valuable contribution to the Rohingya refugees living in Kutupalong, instilling hope in a community that has experienced so much trauma.
In between looking after her children, collecting drinking water for the family, and praying, Hasina makes clothes to sell every day from her home in the camp.
Now, with the help of Action Against Hunger and the livelihoods project, she sees a future for her children and looks forward to watching them grow up healthy and strong and attending school in search of a better life.
SUPPORTING ROHINGYA REFUGEES IN BANGLADESH
In 2017, we reached over 1.2 million people in Bangladesh, and 20.2 million worldwide. With your continued support, Action Against Hunger is able to help the lives of millions of people in Bangladesh, and in almost 50 other countries around the world. Thank you.
Help us support Rohingya refugees