Making health services sustainable in Cox’s Bazar
Over one year on from the peak of the Rohingya crisis, the situation in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps has shifted from the urgent requirement to assist a massive influx of forcibly-displaced people to the imperative of meeting the day-to-day living needs both of the refugees and their host communities. Conditions remain dangerously precarious, with congested living spaces and the potential for natural disasters creating serious risks, including the outbreak of disease, fires and conflict. We are supporting BRAC, one of the largest civil society organisations in place, to improve the efficiency, quality and sustainability of its health assistance and services for people in need.
Escalating violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State has driven more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees across the border into the Cox’s Bazar area of south-eastern Bangladesh since August 2017. Mostly traumatised women and children, they have found shelter in refugee camps where access to basic services such as food and healthcare continues to be precarious, while compounding risks and vulnerabilities still threaten their safety and well-being.
Over one year on from the peak of the crisis, the situation is gradually shifting from the urgent requirement to assist a massive influx of forcibly-displaced people to the imperative of meeting the day-to-day living needs both of the refugees and their host communities.
BRAC has been present in Cox’s Bazar for 35 years and has the largest civil society response for the Rohingya refugees and host communities in place, with a team of 3,800 people, including over 1,600 from the host community and 1,460 from the Rohingya community.
BRAC provides critical services such as water, sanitation, healthcare, financial inclusion and child protection (more than 5,500 households are led by a child).
As the emergency situation transitions into a protracted humanitarian crisis, it is imperative to upgrade the temporary health facilities put in place at the beginning of the response into more stable and permanent structures.
Our funds will allow BRAC to refurbish and renovate one primary healthcare centre and 20 health posts particularly vulnerable to floods, improving access to lifesaving health services such as tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment, and safe birth delivery. An estimated 48,000 Rohingya infants are expected to be born in the next few months.
Specifically allocated to refurbishing and renovating one primary healthcare centre and 20 health posts, our funds are contributing to BRAC’s wider effort to ensure 500,000 Rohingyas and 335,000 members of the host community are enabled to live in dignity and security.
BRAC was one of the very first responders to the crisis in Cox’s Bazar, providing emergency services to meet the immediate needs of vulnerable people. Alert to the rapidly-evolving situation, BRAC is now pursuing an adaptive strategy to provide comprehensive, coordinated services in areas such as healthcare, shelter, water and sanitation, education, skills development and livelihoods. These services will facilitate the long-term wellbeing of the refugees and host community and build resilience.
BRAC works closely with the government of Bangladesh, the UN and all the other humanitarian agencies present to effectively coordinate long-term efforts.