Summary of the operation update
The population movement operation is in its fourth year and is a response to the protracted crisis involving internally displaced people from Rakhine State in Myanmar, living in an overcrowded camp of 866,457 people (188,540 households). The influx of IDPs who crossed the border from Myanmar peaked in August 2017, and the large number of IDPs impacted the host community (local Bangladeshis) living in the area adjacent to where the camps were established – hence the objective of part of the response operation undertaken by the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) and indeed all other humanitarian actors, is also help the host community. In this regard, interventions for camp and host communities aim to facilitate community resilience and social cohesion. This Operations Update covers the period 2017 to December 2020, with a particular focus on important developments, as well as achievements and challenges during the period July to December 2020. These include the following:
Business continuity was maintained, that is, the operation continued without interruption, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic. This was made possible by strict adherence to security protocols in the office and in the field, as part of the duty of care to staff and volunteers. All this was undertaken in close collaboration and coordination between the IFRC and the BDRCS, as well as with partner National Societies. Business continuity despite the COVID-19 pandemic has been imperative for the population movement operation, given that this is a protracted crisis and displaced people from Rakhine in the camps continue to depend on humanitarian aid for their daily survival and well-being. .
Thanks to the combined efforts of the authorities, humanitarian aid organizations (including the BDRCS with the support of IFRC and CRCR partners) and other actors, the potential large-scale COVID-19 epidemic anticipated thanks to the modeling undertaken by the researchers did not materialize – from the start of the pandemic until January 3, 2021, there were 10 deaths in the camp facility and 73 deaths in the host community. As for COVID-19 cases, there were 367 and 5,407 in the camp and host communities respectively during the same reporting period.
A nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign launched by the government of Bangladesh began in early February, targeting vulnerable groups such as frontline health workers, the elderly and aid workers. In this regard, some CRCR staff at Cox’s Bazar have already been vaccinated (for more details, please see the Operational Highlights section in this report).
In response to a request for support from the government of Bangladesh, BDRCS provided relief items to 1,642 displaced people from Rakhine already transferred from the overcrowded Cox’s Bazar camp to Bhasan Char Island in December. In this regard, the IFRC has supported the BDRCS in fulfilling its role and mandate as an auxiliary to the government in providing humanitarian assistance. It should be noted that this has been undertaken in strict respect of the position of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and that of the international humanitarian community, that is to say that the resettlement of displaced persons must be voluntary, with security and dignity assured. The IFRC assures partners and donors that PMO funding has not been used.
As the global COVID-19 pandemic continued to significantly affect visa issuance and international travel, the recruitment and arrival of delegates to fill vacancies has been delayed. This meant that Cox’s Bazar PMO continued to see a reduced team of existing delegates and local staff taking on additional portfolios and responsibilities.
After numerous delays related to COVID-19, preparations for the federation-wide triennial report (2017-2019) on the PMO started in the third week of December 2020 with the hiring of a consultant.
Programming planning for PMO 2021 began in October 2020, in accordance with the Emergency Action Plan (EPoA) that accompanies this Emergency Appeal last revised until December 31, 2021. The planning process has been completed. also noted the draft ISCG-led joint response plan for 2021 and related discussions.
Deliberations have also started at the senior management level regarding the IFRC’s continued support to BDRCS for PMO, and whether the emergency appeal or other funding mechanism should be used beyond the 31st. December 2021.
The IFRC co-chaired with UNDP a localization working group that facilitated research by the Center for Peace and Justice (CPJ) at BRAC University between November 2019 and August 2020, resulting in a full focus on localization. of the interagency humanitarian response to Cox’s Bazar.
In 2020 alone, PMO expenditure amounted to CHF 10 million (representing an expenditure-to-budget ratio of 98 percent). About 60 percent of PMO’s operational expenses include purchases. As of December 31, 2020, 56.2% of the emergency call was funded. A soft pledge from a regular donor is expected to be registered in early 2021, which is expected to bring the EA funding rate to 69%.
From the start of this operation in 2017 until December 31, 2020, targeted camp and host communities totaling 871,434 people were reached through the Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP) alone, which is a major component of the disaster risk reduction (DRR) programming undertaken as part of the EA. . With reference to other extended supports, including health; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); shelter, basic needs; and Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI), approximately 300,000 people in camps and host communities have been assisted by one or more of these interventions.
The IFRC continues to seek the kind support of donors for this emergency appeal to enable the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to continue to help meet the humanitarian needs of the displaced people in Rakhine, as well as the local community. affected by the influx of displaced people. .