The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes China’s $1.5 million contribution to improve hygiene services for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Over 60,000 Rohingya women and girls, between twelve and 50 years old, will benefit from the support through China’s assistance body, the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) until 2025, read a press release.
“This generous support from China comes at a crucial time, as we are into the seventh year of the current Rohingya refugee crisis,” said Sumbul Rizvi, UNHCR Representative in Bangladesh.
Refugee women and girls have been receiving two hygiene kits each year. The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) will partner with UNHCR to ensure over 250,000 kits under China’s grant support will reach Rohingya women.
“China assumes its responsibility as a major country and provides assistance to help the displaced people improve living conditions. We look forward to undertaking more initiatives with UNHCR in future. The long-term solution to the crisis, however, lies in repatriation of the displaced people to Myanmar,” said Yao Wen, Ambassador of China to Bangladesh.
UNHCR and the Chinese Government will collaborate to provide these kits. Chinese funding will ensure the provision of some items, including bathing and laundry soaps, as well as buckets.
Over 200 women in Cox’s Bazar, from the refugee and Bangladeshi host communities, will work to produce the remaining items for the hygiene kits. It allows them to put their skills to use for their community, while also gaining an opportunity for limited self-reliance and livelihoods to support themselves.
“Refugee women we talk to have highlighted the value of such kits, which they say are essential, and welcome the quality of the items produced by women within their own community,” said UNHCR’s Rizvi.
UNHCR continues to work closely with women and the authorities in Bangladesh to improve living conditions. The offer of humanitarian assistance by countries, including China, is greatly needed to support the Government of Bangladesh in its humanitarian effort to respond to the Rohingya refugee situation.
In 2023, humanitarian agencies have appealed for more than US$876 million to support almost 1.5 million people, including 960,000 Rohingya refugees and 495,000 Bangladeshis in neighbouring communities. By early December 2023, the Joint Response Plan was approximately 50 per cent funded.