UN Migration Agency Delivers Hygiene Kits to Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Posted: 
10/24/17

Cox’s Bazar – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is distributing hygiene kits to the most vulnerable of hundreds of thousands of people who have fled violence in Myanmar’s North Rakhine State for the relative safety of the vast refugee settlements that now cover the Cox’s Bazar district of southern Bangladesh.

The kits, which include soap, toothbrushes, water containers, hygienic cloths, menstrual hygiene products, undergarments, antiseptic liquid and other small personal items, are funded by the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

“These kits ensure that Rohingya families – particularly women and children – can at least meet their personal care and hygiene needs as they face the harsh reality of life in the makeshift settlements,” said IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Sarat Dash.

An estimated 603,000 refugees have arrived in Cox’s Bazar since August, joining some 200,000 others already sheltering in the settlements. Most of the new arrivals come with nothing but the clothes on their back, often having walked for days without food or water. Many have experienced devastating physical and emotional trauma.

To date, IOM has distributed 6,626 hygiene kits to the most vulnerable families, reaching an estimated 33,130 people.

The kits are part of a USD 5 million CERF contribution to fund IOM shelter, health, water, sanitation and hygiene operations in Cox’s Bazar.

“CERF funding has been critical to saving lives in this humanitarian crisis. It has allowed us to scale up and respond to the escalating needs of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar in a very short timeframe,” said Dash.

Yesterday (23/10) 35 international donors met in Geneva to announce pledges of USD 345 million to urgently ramp up the delivery of critical humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh over the next six months. The pledging conference was co-hosted by the European and Kuwait and co-organised by UNOCHA, IOM and UNHCR.

The pledges, which include money already committed, cover nearly 80 percent of the USD 434 million appealed for in the UN Joint Response Plan published earlier this month. The plan aims to meet the basic needs of 1.2 million newly arrived and existing refugees, and their Bangladeshi hosts in Cox’s Bazar through February 2018.

“Without these vital funds, humanitarian agencies will not be able to continue to provide protection and life-saving aid to one of the most vulnerable groups in the world. We welcome these pledges, but I hope that the end of this conference does not mean the end of new funding commitments. We have not reached our target and each percentage point we are under means thousands are left without food, healthcare and shelter,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, speaking after the pledging conference.

IOM is appealing for USD 120 million to meet the needs of the most vulnerable Rohingya and the Bangladeshi communities hosting them over the next six months. You can find out more about the appeal here.

For more information, please contact Abdusattor Esoev at IOM Dhaka, Tel: + 88 02 550 448 1113, Email: aesoev@iom.int

  • The UN Migration Agency distributes hygiene kits to families living in Cox’s Bazar temporary settlement camps. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017