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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Bangladesh

25 Mar 2021

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A panoramic view of the destruction caused by the fire that tore through the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. © IOM

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 25 March 2021

Bangladesh

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock yesterday released US$14 million from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide urgent shelter and other assistance to tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees after a devastating fire tore through the Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar – the world’s largest refugee camp – on 22 March.

Estimates indicate that the fire displaced more than 45,000 mostly Rohingya refugees, originally from neighbouring Myanmar, with many more affected. A hospital and other critical health, nutrition and education structures were destroyed. At least 11 people have reportedly lost their lives, more than 500 people required medical attention and about 400 people are missing.

The funds will help set up and rebuild shelter and provide affected people with urgent water and sanitation services, food, mental and psychosocial health assistance and other emergency services.

Mr. Lowcock said: “This fire has ripped through one of the most vulnerable communities in the world. Rohingya refugees need our support now more than ever, as the pandemic continues to take its toll and they approach the monsoon season.”

People displaced by the fire have sought refuge in nearby camps, shelters and learning centres, and at the UN transit sites. NGOs have set up child-friendly spaces at central points to receive and care for lost and unidentified children.

The UN, along with its partners, is providing first aid, food, health care, emergency shelter kits, protection and drinking water, and helping to trace missing family members.