Bangladesh: Emergency Preparedness & Response
Many people in the camps fear the uncertainty of the future of returning to an unsafe situation in Myanmar or having to stay in camps longer-term. The trauma and violence they have experienced while fleeing does not fade easily. This, combined with the frustration of not being able to work or provide for their families in the camps, causes some to resort to negative coping mechanisms, such as illegal and unsafe migration, exploitative working conditions, child marriage, or domestic violence. The difficult circumstances in the camps can create a greater risk for violence against women and girls. For example, many camps do not have enough sanitation and hygiene facilities for the large populations. A lack of separate facilities for women and girls means they are exposed to possible threats or violence while trying to use the toilet or bathe.
The safety situation in the already crowded camps worsens during the rainy season, which occurs annually in Bangladesh from June to September. Additionally, there is also an increased risk of cyclones from September through October. Both the basic refugee shelters, and the homes of the host community, provide little protection against the strong wind and persistent rain. Because of the severe space limitations in the camps, many shelters are built on steep slopes and can be easily destroyed by mudslides. Preparing for these situations and strengthening the bamboo shelters to withstand the rainy season has become a main priority for many humanitarian organizations, including PIN.
Protection for vulnerable Rohingya communities
In collaboration with our partner organizations, we support groups of volunteers and community members through the Her Safety workshops that focuses on health, safety, and empowerment topics. In these workshops, participants identify, prioritize, and address protection risks within their communities. They critically analyse how gender and gender relations affect health and safety and identify ways that they can improve the situation and engage others in the community as well. Through small grants, the community groups design and carry out simple and practical improvements in the camps, such as installing lights and locks on temporary toilets and building private bathing facilities for women and girls. Such improvements can reduce the likelihood of safety risks for their families and neighbours.