On August 9 and 11, 2018, Community Partners International (CPI) distributed Dignity Kits to 500 women of reproductive age, including pregnant women and adolescent girls, affected by ongoing flooding in Kayin State, Myanmar. The Dignity Kits contain a range of items to support female hygiene and protect the health and safety of women facing displacement and other challenges due to the floods. These include a sarong, a bra, underwear, sanitary pads, a blanket, soap, laundry detergent, a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Heavy rains across Myanmar caused the Thanlwin (Salween) River to burst its banks and flood areas of Kayin State, Myanmar in July 2018. More than 16,000 people in Hlaingblwe, Hpa-an, Kawkareik, Kyainseikgyi and Myawaddy townships have been displaced, and thousands more affected by the rising floodwaters. Among those impacted are nearly 6,000 residents of camps in Myaing Gyi Nu, Hlaingbwe township, already displaced by conflict. In late July, Community Partners International (CPI) responded by organizing deliveries of emergency food supplies to displaced communities in Myaing Gyi Nu. CPI delivered 600 bags of rice, 1,440 lbs of meal substitutes, 190 gallons of cooking oil, 4,320 lbs of potatoes and 20 bags of salt to displaced communities around Myaing Gyi Nu. CPI is carrying out further needs assessments and will continue to provide support depending on the identification and prioritization of needs.
With more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees living in tightly-packed shelters in Cox’s Bazar, and with many communities at high risk of flooding from the monsoon rains, access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation is crucial to reduce the risk of diarrhea, cholera and other dangerous diseases. As of June 21, 2018, two thirds of Rohingya refugees have access to safe water and functional latrines that meet the standards agreed by the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) in Cox’s Bazar. Community Partners International (CPI) is working with local partner Society for People’s Action in Change and Equity (SPACE) to help close the gap and ensure that all refugees have access to these basic needs.
For Rohingya women and girls sheltering as refugees in Cox’s Bazar, the shadow of gender-based violence (GBV) is never far away. While many have directly experienced or witnessed traumatic incidents during the recent violence in northern Rakhine state, the precarious circumstances and lack of protection that they experience as refugees continues to expose them to a high risk of GBV and human trafficking. Among Rohingya communities, as in many communities in Myanmar and elsewhere, stigma and cultural norms can hinder discussion and acknowledgment of these issues, making prevention and response more challenging. Survivors of GBV often have little or no access to support, and awareness-raising and prevention efforts can face resistance. Community Partners International (CPI) is working in partnership with Rohingya communities in Cox’s Bazar to find creative and innovative ways to break the silence around GBV, and support community initiatives that help ensure women and girls are protected from violence.
The precarious shelters that house the estimated 900,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, offer scant resistance against the monsoon rains now sweeping this region. Landslides and flash floods are significant and ever-present threats facing these communities seeking refugee from communal violence in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. As part of wider disaster preparedness efforts, Community Partners International (CPI) is training and supporting a network of Rohingya Community Health Volunteers (CHVs), embedded in refugee communities throughout Cox’s Bazar, to provide safe rescue and first response services in emergencies.