The United Nations’ top relief official on Wednesday released $14 million in emergency funding to provide life-saving assistance to thousands of Rohingya refugee families, after a massive fire ripped through the Kutupalong camp in southern Bangladesh, earlier this week.
The blaze displaced more than 45,000 mostly Rohingya refugees originally from neighbouring Myanmar, and destroyed the camp’s main hospital and other important health, nutrition and education centres.
Eleven people are reported to have died in the fire and about 400 are still missing.
“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”, Mark Lowcock, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said.
“Rohingya refugees themselves have always stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the aid workers, volunteering their services to support response efforts in the camps. Now is the moment for the international community to stand by them.”
According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the money from the Organization’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will help set up and rebuild shelter and provide affected people with food, water and sanitation services, mental and psychosocial health assistance and other emergency support.
The Kutupalong camp network, the largest refugee camp in the world, is home to the vast majority of more than 800,000 Rohingya refugees sheltering in Cox’s Bazar.