Bangladesh: Handicap International steps up efforts in aid of Rohingyas
Some 400,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh from neighbouring Myanmar since the end of August. Handicap International (HI) is responding to this emergency by supplying aid to families with acute needs.
Saiful, 7, is a Rohingya, an ethnic and religious minority living in Myanmar. His family left the country after being persecuted. | © S. Ahmed/Handicap International
Since the end of August, some 400,000 people from the Rohingya minority have crossed the Myanmar border and taken refuge in Bangladesh. Joining 300,000 to 500,000 Rohingyas already present in the country, the new arrivals need food, drinking water, access to sanitary facilities, health care, rehabilitation sessions and accommodation.
Around 10,000 people supplied with aid
Handicap International (HI) has been working in two refugee camps, makeshift shelters and host communities in the Teknaf and Ukhiya districts of Cox’s Bazar since 2007. Its teams are now supplying aid to the new arrivals. The organisation is identifying the most vulnerable people - children, pregnant women, isolated women, older people and people with disabilities - and assessing their health, rehabilitation and accommodation needs. It is also distributing protection kits containing torches, mattresses and blankets, hygiene kits with soap, water and other items, and accommodation kits containing bamboo, plastic sheets and the like. In addition, it is supplying mobility aids - crutches, walking frames, etc. - and rehabilitation sessions to 1,850 households, reaching some 10,000 people.
The organisation also provides the most vulnerable people with psychological support to help them overcome their trauma and directs people with specific needs, such as access to education, to partner organisations able to cater to their requirements. Handicap International’s (HI) priority is to help the most vulnerable families in need of practical and immediate support.
Handicap International (HI) plans to beef up its response to meet the growing needs of the 15,000 Rohingyas now arriving in Bangladesh every day.