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.
It is five months today since 688,000 forcibly displaced Rohingyas migrated to Bangladesh from Myanmar. BRAC has been on the ground delivering humanitarian support from two weeks after the influx began. To date, we have reached over 620,000 Rohingyas with critical services, making up the largest civil society response to the crisis.
A woman’s handbag seemingly contains a world of mystery. Her phone, keys, wallet, some tissue to wipe the nose, a sanitary pad just in case, maybe sunglasses, and receipts from the supermarket. But what does one carry in a crisis?
People stretched as far as I could see. Young, old and every age in between, all standing in lines for hours to receive food. What most shocked me was the number of children. There were just so many of them. So many hungry eyes.
A diphtheria outbreak in the Rohingya makeshift settlements has killed 20 people as of December 17, 2017. With 1,500 suspected cases, the number is growing. The 656,000 Rohingya people who sleep every night without electricity, dream in the colours of recent trauma and wake up to uncertainty, cannot afford to be hurt further.
From a bird’s-eye-view, if one were to look at the vast settlements where people from Rakhine state of Myanmar are currently residing, they would see many pink dots purposefully moving about. This rush of pink are BRAC’s women humanitarian workers delivering life-saving services, specifically to women and girls who make up more than half of the 589,000 people who have come to Bangladesh since 25 August.
Over 582,000 people from the Rakhine State of Myanmar have crossed into Bangladesh since August 25th. They are living in extremely cramped, extremely unhygienic conditions, and more people are arriving every day.