On August 25, 2017, violence broke out in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, near the border with Bangladesh. While all communities are impacted, the Rakhine Muslim population in northern Rakhine State, the majority of whom are known as Rohingya, has been the most severely affected.
More than 605,000 Rohingya refugees from northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, have now crossed the border seeking refuge in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, and they continue to arrive each day. Most are women, the elderly and children, including newborns. With 307,500 Rohingya refugees already in Bangladesh at the beginning of the crisis, existing refugee camps and services are already overwhelmed by this unprecedented influx. New arrivals are camping in makeshift settlements scattered across fields and by the roadsides.
Arriving exhausted, hungry, sick and wounded, refugees urgently need assistance to avert a public health catastrophe. Malnutrition and sickness are taking hold with children, pregnant women and the elderly most at risk. There is deep concern about the threat of cholera and other deadly diseases.
How CPI is helping
With indications suggesting that this will be a protracted crisis, Community Partners International (CPI) is working with local partners to provide emergency relief while also looking at longer-term strategies to strengthen community-led health care services. CPI has been working to support Rohingya communities in Myanmar and Bangladesh for more than two years. Our local partners have decades of experience, extensive networks and deep contextual knowledge.
In the coming 12 months and beyond, CPI will work with local partners to deliver lifesaving emergency relief to refugee populations in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh:
Medical & Public Health Services - We are working with local partners to establish essential medical and public health services for refugee populations in Cox's Bazar. This will be allied to our longer-term strategy to strengthen the health service delivery capacity of these community-based organizations. We are supporting partners to establish and expand a network of clinics and outreach teams providing lifesaving primary care services with a particular focus on pregnant women, newborns, young children and the elderly. We will help to train and equip local partners and provide medical, technical and programmatic expertise to support their ongoing work.
Immediate Core Relief Support - Alongside our focus on health care delivery, we are also liaising with partners to provide refugees with core relief items as and when we identify gaps and needs. These include food, shelter, clean water access, hygiene and sanitation.