A $1-million contribution from Global Affairs Canada will enable Development and Peace – Caritas Canada to expand its support to Rohingya refugees who are residing in shelters and makeshift settlements that are severely below basic humanitarian standards, overcrowded, and will not withstand adverse weather conditions in the Expansion Site of the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District. The funds will allow the provision of training and materials to 6,000 families to rebuild their shelters and neighbourhoods.
“This inclusive approach places refugees at the focus of aid. It equips them to better cope with future shocks while ensuring the sustainability, quality and ownership of infrastructure,” says Dominique Godbout, Emergency Relief Program Officer for Asia at Development and Peace – Caritas Canada. Global Affairs Canada’s support will also enable the installation of solar streetlights to improve safety in the camps, especially for women and girls.
Since August 2017, more than 900,000 Rohingya have fled Burma (Myanmar), to seek refuge in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar District. Development and Peace – Caritas Canada and its partner, Caritas Bangladesh, responded early in the crisis by providing food to nearly 25,000 of the most vulnerable refugees. Thanks to a $1.25-million contribution from Global Affairs Canada and the generosity of Canadians, we sustained our efforts by building temporary shelters, distributing basic necessities and hygiene and dignity kits, as well as building drinking water stations, latrines, and showers.
We also distributed 5,000 stoves and gas cylinders to reduce reliance on firewood and protect the ecosystems that are critical to the livelihoods of refugees and host communities alike. This measure also had an impact on women’s daily lives : a majority of women reported saving three hours of effort a day simply by not having to fetch firewood.
“Since nearly two years, actions implemented in partnership with Caritas Bangladesh have reached, directly or indirectly, nearly 125,000 refugees. Even today, Rohingya refugees are highly dependent on humanitarian aid and their living conditions are difficult. It is therefore important to continue to support them,” Godbout adds.
From the outset of the crisis, Development and Peace rapidly implemented a humanitarian response to meet the Rohingya refugees’ basic needs, providing: