Bangladesh continued to face complex humanitarian emergencies. Over 918,800 Rohingya refugees1 are living in the world’s largest refugee settlement and millions of children and women are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, fires, cyclone, floods and landslides.
Globally, Bangladesh is among the top 32 countries in terms of confirmed COVID-19 cases as of end of December 2021. The positivity rate was two per cent in the last week of December 2021 with the Omicron variant identified in the country. UNICEF made contributions to the vaccination efforts, resulting in 41.2 per cent partially vaccinated and 28.4 per cent fully vaccinated of the target population as of 26 December 2021.
UNICEF provided critical life-saving support to nearly 202,000 people in Cox's Bazar in 2021 (115,860 Rohingya refugees and 85,535 host community people). Fire affected 84,260 Rohingya refugees (43,086 female, 32 Children with Disabilities) in Camp 9, 8E & 8W and flood affected 117,135 people (31,600 Rohingya refugees and 85,535 Host community people) including 1,982 Person with Disabilities (PwD) and 56,633 women received emergency assistance from UNICEF.
UNICEF and partners reconstructed and repaired 4,154 education, child protection, C4D, health and wash infrastructure including Learning Centres, multi-purpose centres and safe spaces, latrines, water networks, and Fecal Sludge Management despite COVID-19 challenges and building on opportunities presented by COVID-19.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Bangladesh is hosting over 918,800 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in 34 camps in Cox’s Bazar District and Bhasan Char, about 52 per cent of whom are children. Despite the provision of basic services, children face disease outbreaks, malnutrition, inadequate educational opportunities, and the risks related to neglect, exploitation and violence including Gender Based Violence (GBV). In 2021, 150 fire incidences, heavy rain, landslides, windstorms, lightening and flooding affected 44,615 households (208,709 people including 108,528 children), further displacing approximately 62,600 and killing 21 people (half of them were children) in the Rohingya camps. These incidents damaged many UNICEF supported facilities including 1,306 Learning Centres (LCs), a health centre, three information and feedback centres, 332 latrines of LCs, 2,677 latrines at household level, 814 bathing cubicles, 223 tube-wells, 63 tap stands, 19 pipeline networks, 20 Faecal Sludge Management (FSM), 22 multi-purpose centres and safe spaces, and interrupted access to education, and basic services of another 50,000 people, including 11,200 learners. As of 31 December 2021, 1,585,539 COVID19 cases were confirmed in Bangladesh with 28,072 deaths. 3 Of this figure, 17,760 cases and 257 deaths were in the host communities in Cox’s Bazar District and 3,308 cases and 34 deaths were reported among refugees in the camps.
Cholera surveillance among the Rohingya refugees and the host communities in Ukhiya and Teknaf was halted from April to June due to COVID-19 restrictions and in nine months, a total of 25,255 patients were recorded and 7,128 enrolled. An upsurge of cholera cases was observed from June to October in Cox’s Bazar, with a declining trend from November onwards. Two Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) campaigns conducted in October and November 2021 among the Rohingya refugees. The LCs in the Rohingya refugee camps were re-opened on 22 September 2021 after 18 months.
From 5th December 2021, the Myanmar Curriculum Pilot (MCP) was launched in the camps and a total of 32 LCs are offering MC, reaching to 810 Learners (137 girls).