By the time the fire in Kutupalong Refugee camp was brought under control in the early hours of Tuesday, March 23, the devastation was hard to fathom. In just a few hours, it destroyed more than 10,000 shelters and displaced 50,000 people, half of whom are children. At least 11 people lost their lives, including three children. More than 500 people were injured, and at least 400 remain missing. An estimated 1,600 community facilities including hospitals, distribution points, and learning centers were lost in the fire.
Ayesha and Jannat are Rohingya refugees from Myanmar sheltering in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. They fled violence in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State in 2017 with their families, walking for many days to reach the Bangladesh border. Today, they live in Kutupalong, the world’s largest refugee camp. Both receive assistance from networks of Rohingya community health and water, sanitation and hygiene volunteers supported by Community Partners International (CPI). Here are their stories.
On November 4, 2020, Community Partners International (CPI) held the second in a series of live webinars focused on “COVID-19 and Conflict in Myanmar’s Ethnic States”. At this second webinar, speakers from ethnic and community-based organizations in Myanmar’s Shan and Kachin States discussed their needs for additional assistance and support to ensure the effectiveness of their COVID-19 responses.
As an ER doctor in Los Angeles, I was fortunate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine a few days ago. After more than ten months' battling the pandemic day-to-day in the ER, it was an emotional moment for my colleagues and me to begin administering these vaccines.
In Kachin State, Myanmar, nearly 100,000 people live in displacement camps. Some have been there for 10 years or more, forced to flee their homes due to the conflict that continues to rage in this restive and contested region. COVID-19 is now spreading rapidly in Myanmar and the country has one of the world’s weakest health systems. The cramped and crowded conditions in displacement camps make residents especially vulnerable.