BRAC is one of the key stakeholders responding to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, and is engaged in multiple sectoral interventions to build skills, resilience and knowledge, both in the camps and host communities.
BRAC has developed infrastructure and shelters, ensured integrated water and sanitation facilities, and distributed food and non-food items in the camps. It continues to be the largest provider for education, operating learning centres and producing learning materials. A huge network of doctors and health workers provide primary healthcare services through hundreds of healthcare centres in the camps. Alongside physical health services, BRAC also provides mental health support to thousands under its protection sector.
Based on the needs jointly identified by BRAC and other partners in Cox’s Bazar, BRAC Humanitarian Crisis Management Programme’s (HCMP) current interventions are implemented in an integrated manner through multiple sectors, to ensure that the essential needs are covered. The sectors are:
- Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
- Shelter and non-food items
- Site management support (SMS)
- Child protection
- Food security
- Communication with community
WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE (WASH)
HCMP supports over 700,000 people through integrated water, sanitation and hygiene interventions in the Rohingya camps and the host communities. Along with major interventions in construction and maintenance of deep tube wells, piped water supply, latrines and hand-washing stations, HCMP also promotes hygiene practice and distributes hygiene kits. A water safety plan is underway to ensure safe water by promoting ownership. This plan will ensure the safety of drinking water through comprehensive risk assessment and risk management, which includes all the steps in water supply, starting from catchment to consumer. BRAC was the first to establish ownership of facilities, which will work towards sustainability in operation and maintenance of these infrastructures.
SHELTER AND NON-FOOD ITEMS
More than 300,000 people have been supported with safe and secure housing in the camps through construction of 59,241 shelters. HCMP works on site improvements in both the Rohingya and host communities. It also operates six community kitchens in the Rohingya camps. Transitional shelter options such as ‘flat-pack’ shelters and ‘stilt homes’ have been constructed to mitigate the risk of landslides. BRAC’s bamboo treatment facility is the first large scale plant in Cox’s Bazar. These plants treat bamboo to increase its viability and thus, reduce pest infestation of the shelters in the camps, and the need for frequent repair and maintenance.
BRAC is the largest primary healthcare provider in the Rohingya camps, and provides essential and life-saving health services including prevention and treatment of communicable diseases. HCMP has provided more than one million basic health services in the community via its health network over the last three years.
A total of 11 health facilities are providing essential primary healthcare services in 10 camps covering a population of 140,000 people from the Rohingya community. Among the health facilities, two are Primary Healthcare Centres with 24/7 outpatient, inpatient, sexual and reproductive health (SRH), laboratory, pharmacy and delivery facilities. Nine of the health facilities are Heath Posts that provide daytime healthcare services such as outpatient, SRH and pharmacy facilities.
Moreover, BRAC HCMP has a large community health programme in the camps and host communities, through which a network of 200 community health workers who provide and promote preventive healthcare services at the household level.
BRAC aims to reduce malnutrition among children under five years of age, pregnant and lactating mothers, and persons with chronic diseases, by ensuring comprehensive preventive nutrition services through both one-to-one and group sessions on infant and young children’s feeding, practical sessions and mass gatherings. We provide knowledge and nutrition supplements for women and children in the camps through a community-based approach. Members of the community are engaged in awareness sessions to improve their understanding about the importance of nutrition, their nutrition sources and how to preserve nutrition during cooking processes. They are then provided with supplements as needed.
SITE MANAGEMENT SUPPORT (SMS)
The site management sector supports more than 277,000 people in 11 camps, in coordination with government officials and Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) partners. The interventions are community governance and participation mechanisms, protection mainstreaming, care and maintenance, information management, emergency preparedness and response, relocation, as well as capacity building of camp volunteers. The site management sector has successfully launched community feedback and response mechanisms in three camps. Small site improvement activities, such as repair of stairs, drains and pathways are being carried out on a continuous basis.
More than 65,700 children (53% girls) are enrolled in 923 BRAC’s learning facilities inside the Rohingya camps. In partnership with UNICEF, BRAC is developing learning competency framework and approach (LCFA) materials, focused on early grade learning, basic literacy, numeracy, life-saving information, psychosocial support and life skills. HCMP trained 773 Burmese language instructors from the camps and 923 teachers from host communities to provide lessons in a safe and dignified environment. Through 21 multi-purpose centres and eight adolescent centres, 2,230 adolescents have been receiving pre-vocational courses, including life skills training, literacy, and numeracy lessons.
The protection sector works towards eliminating abuse, exploitation, violence and neglect for all people from the Rohingya and host communities under its coverage. HCMP supports more than 125,000 vulnerable Rohingya women, girls, men and boys across 20 camps through 15 women friendly spaces, 10 community centres, seven integrated centres, one skill training centre, eight information service centres and the community outreach network.
A variety of protection-centred activities are conducted to ensure provision of basic needs, restoring dignity and ensuring well-being and recovery while protecting the Rohingya community from abuse and violence. These include psychotherapeutic activities, case management services, life-skills training, women's leadership and skills development, legal assistance, awareness-raising training on violence prevention and protection, information and referral services, community empowerment and engagement, community-based protection and protection monitoring. More than 43,000 women have received psycho-social support through the women friendly centres.
More than 100,000 children attend child-friendly spaces built in accordance with BRAC's Humanitarian Play Lab model.
The child protection sector aims to strengthen and improve access to safe, quality, focused and specialised gender-sensitive child protection services and referral pathways to children, including adolescents most at risk of abuse, neglect, violence, exploitation, and severe distress in camps and host communities. The sector engages 105,000 children and adolescents, and provides psychosocial support, play-based learning through child friendly spaces (CFS), case management,centre and pocket-based intervention for adolescent boys and girls. People from the community are also engaged through the community-based child protection committees (CBCPC).
BRAC expanded its activities in the host community and included social cohesion in order to reduce the tension between the Rohingya and host community population. The child protection sector is working in 32 camps for the Rohingya community and in four upazilas in Cox’s Bazar for the host communities.
The food security sector offers skill development, ultra-poor graduation schemes and alternative learning programmes for members of poor and ultra-poor households in the host community. These skills and asset building programmes help people build confidence, capacity, and create income opportunities. The trades with the most demand include tailoring, embroidery, solar power installation, and mobile phone servicing. A total of 4,828 people were trained until December 2019. Another 4,150 individuals will be provided training in 2020. HCMP is also supporting over 50,000 Rohingya households in 13 camps with capacity building initiatives.
COMMUNICATION WITH COMMUNITIES
Communication with Communities intervenes in myriad ways to reach the most vulnerable group of people with effective life-saving messages. The sector uses several communication tools such as interpersonal communication (IPC), community consultation meetings, advocacy meetings, Adolescent Radio Listeners Club (ARLC) sessions, and campaigns.
HCMP received recognition from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and ISCG for its innovative communication with communities. A total of 1,000 trained community mobilisation volunteers (CMVs) supported this component in 34 camps and reached more than 500,000 people with life-saving messages until December 2019. Each CMV selected 100 households to work with throughout the project duration. All CMVs were from the Rohingya community, staying either in unregistered or registered camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas. 84% of total volunteers were women. The CMVs received training on community mobilisation and behaviour change communication on health, hygiene, WASH, nutrition, protection, gender-based violence, education and disaster risk reduction (DRR) issues.