Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock today released an additional US$12 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to urgently help the most vulnerable people fleeing violence in Myanmar and their host communities in Bangladesh, where the refugees are seeking refuge.
“We urgently need to get more food, shelter, water, sanitation facilities, medical help and other support to the refugees. The people of Bangladesh have offered a generous welcome, but the current conditions in the camps are terrible. Without much more international assistance, the refugees, who have suffered greatly, could face a health catastrophe on top of the existing tragedy,” said Mr. Lowcock during his visit to one of the refugee sites in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Over 1.2 million people, including the host population, newly arriving refugees as well as refugees already in Bangladesh prior to August 2017 need humanitarian assistance. The CERF allocation will support the rapid establishment of additional campsites on land that has been made available by the Government of Bangladesh to accommodate the fast-growing refugee population.
Since 25 August, more than 500,000 refugees have arrived in Bangladesh – significantly surpassing the capacity of existing camps – and people continue to arrive. Funding will enable humanitarian partners to kick-start life-saving critical health care, access to clean water and sanitation and camp management in the new sites.
“My appreciation goes to all the donors to CERF, who have made this urgent aid possible to reduce human suffering,” Lowcock said. These funds follow a previous CERF allocation of US$7 million to scale up humanitarian action and help tens of thousands of people fleeing Myanmar, bringing the total CERF support to $19 million.