The coming monsoon and possible cyclones will threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and families.
With the onset of the monsoon, more than 900,000 people in the refugee camp at Cox's Bazar are threatened by landslides, floods and disease. More than 370,000 children are facing a very difficult phase, as rainfall of up to three metres is expected in the rainy season. The unpaved temporary shelters, built in steep terrain, are in danger of being washed away by the rain, and roads are at risk of flooding.
Our Swiss colleague Beat Rohr, coordinates emergency aid as the team leader for Save the Children in Cox’s Bazar. He explains: “The plight of the Rohingya refugees is shocking. What the children had to go through is unimaginable for me. In the child-friendly rooms co-financed by Swiss Solidarity, they can process their experiences and, despite everything, just be children again. Our help and solidarity with the people here are absolutely essential.”
Ömer Güven, CEO of Save the Children Switzerland is also extremely concerned about the situation in the refugee camps at Cox’s Bazar: “We are doing everything we can to help children affected by this additional disaster. Thanks to our decades of experience in Bangladesh, we can take action and make plans immediately to prepare children, women and men for the monsoon and possible cyclones.”
Save the Children has been working in Bangladesh since 1970 and has been providing aid in response to the Rohingya crisis since 2012. Since the end of last year, Save the Children has been working with Swiss Solidarity in Cox’s Bazar on a project to give children the opportunity to learn and return to normality in child-friendly rooms. The current work is around preparations for the monsoon. For example, children’s rights organisation Save the Children has built a health centre that can provide people with continuous care.
Facts and figures:
- More than 55% of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children.
- A study by the University of Dhaka states that serious problems with the supply of water, food, medicine and accommodation, etc. are feared for around 220,000 people because of the coming monsoon. According to the university’s recommendation, 24,000 people are under threat and should therefore be transferred to the mainland.
- It is expected that the monsoon will severely damage a quarter of all toilets and half of all wells in Cox’s Bazar – increasing the risk of infectious diseases such as cholera.