European Union has announced a fund of 18 million euros to help build resilience among Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi host communities.
Over 288,000 children and families will benefit as part of a three-year long EU-supported Unicef programme, building synergy across four key areas of nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene; education; and child protection, said a joint statement of European Union (EU) and Unicef yesterday.
“The support from the European Union allows us to address the issue of resilience in a holistic manner, integrating and harmonising services for the delivery of better results,” says Tomoo Hozumi, Unicef Representative in Bangladesh.
“We have substantially scaled up our humanitarian response over the past year and a half thanks to strong support from partners like the European Union. At the same time, the situation remains critical with 1.2 million people requiring humanitarian assistance in one of Bangladesh’s poorest and most vulnerable districts.”
Cox’s Bazar is home to 2.3 million people. Around 33 percent live below the poverty line. Education indicators in Cox’s Bazar are among the lowest in the country with the primary school completion rate standing at 55 percent. Over half of the girls marry before the age of 18 years and close to 50,000 children are engaged in child labour.
The district records very high rates of malnutrition. One in two children suffer from stunted growth due to poor maternal nutrition and lack of adequate infant feeding and care practices.
Further, Cox’s Bazar is one of the most vulnerable districts to natural disasters in the country including cyclones, flooding and landslides caused by monsoon rains, and the impact of climate change.
“We need to act decisively to secure a better future for all those affected by the refugee crisis,” said Rensje Teerink, EU Ambassador to Bangladesh.
To date, the European Union has contributed 24.8 million euros to Unicef to support the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh.