In Uganda, there are no refugee camps. The Government of Uganda calls them settlements as refugees live with the host community. Refugee families get a piece of land to build their houses, farms, rear cattle and are able to access basic services. They are entitled to social services because of the Refugee Act and Policy of Uganda, the most progressive legal framework in the world, to create a robust protection environment for the refugees.
To close the month of Ramadan we got paints out in two of our child friendly spaces in Cox's Bazar. One space was in Ukhia (one of the host communities) and the other space was in Kutupalong Extension Settlement. This is what happiness looks like at Eid for them.
In the last decade, disasters have cost the global economy USD 520 billion and pushed 26 million people into poverty. Certain groups, such as people with disabilities, have historically been disproportionately affected by natural hazards.
An epidemic might be on the rise. Two of the world’s most lethal infectious diseases are being largely overlooked, and practically harboured within each household of the largest makeshift city in the world.
Humanitarian workers arriving from prior deployments such as Iraq, Lebanon, Damascus or Sudan share that they have never witnessed a crisis of such scale. When looking beyond the horizon of unending tarpaulin rooftops held up by bamboo sticks, across a hilly terrain; it seems like a miracle that a staggering 866,000 people have been living in 5,800 acres of makeshift settlements since August 2017.
10-year-old Harisa describes how she and her family escaped from their home in Myanmar and crossed the border into Bangladesh. She is one of almost a million Rohingyas living in the makeshift settlements in Cox's Bazar- all of whom experienced similar trauma.
Contrary to popular belief, Noor had a clear understanding of what family planning is, and her husband was supportive of it - she had delivered her daughter with the help of a midwife at that very same health facility. She was encouraged to have her child here by a Rohingya traditional birth attendant– a volunteer in BRAC’s health team.
Let us take the recent Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh- dubbed as the world’s fastest growing humanitarian crisis- as a case to see why and how BRAC can be a model for the localisation in humanitarian response.
10-year-old Abdullah is writing numbers in his notebook, sitting on a bright blue and green mat with the sun pouring in through the thatched bamboo. He writes, without pause and in neat handwriting, from 1 to 20 in Burmese and English. Abdullah attends the temporary learning centre in B26/1 of Balukhali 1 in Cox’s Bazar along with his two brothers.
BRAC recently partnered with Clowns Without Borders UK, a charity that aims to share laughter with children in crisis. A team from the charity visited Cox's Bazar to spread a little cheer among the Rohingya children. The playful performances recognised that despite the trauma or difficulties they may have witnessed, children have the right to play, have fun and heal.