UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is providing support to host communities in Cox’s Bazar affected by the Rohingya refugee influx. Today, the Deputy Commissioner for Cox’s Bazar District Mr. Md. Kamal Hossain accompanied UNHCR for the inauguration of several projects.
One programme involves the construction of new school buildings at Kanjar Para High School, Whykong which has over 650 students, and Naikkongkhali Junior High School in Hnila, Teknaf sub-district, with over 370 students. Both schools supported the refugees by providing temporary shelter at the height of the influx in 2017. UNHCR has also built additional toilet facilities at both schools.
In another pilot initiative, 21 vulnerable local families, living next to the refugee settlements of Nayapara and Jadimura in Teknaf, will receive a Transitional Housing Unit. The steel framed housing unit, which is portable, is constructed on a cement-concrete floor and is more durable than a temporary bamboo and tarp shelter. Many households will also receive a washing and latrine facility adjacent to their housing units.
UNHCR began to distribute Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders and cooking stoves to many host community households earlier this year for their cooking needs. So far, over 600 households have benefitted. We are now increasing our assistance in Teknaf, to reach an additional 780 households. Our final target is to provide a total of 20,000 host community households with access to LPG, based on their levels of vulnerability. The provision of LPG is an important tool in helping to reduce deforestation, as well as improving the health of families.
“The host population in Bangladesh has shown incredible solidarity and generosity in welcoming and hosting the Rohingya refugee population. But we recognise that the large numbers of refugees are also placing a strain on natural resources, the environment and infrastructure” said Marin Kajdomcaj, head of operations for UNHCR in Cox’s Bazar. “By providing support through various projects, we are also helping some of the most vulnerable Bangladeshi families. Our assistance is designed to help support some of the poorest local households and to ensure peaceful coexistence between all communities” he added.