le Bangladesh

le Bangladesh

Since 25 August 2017, an estimated 693 000 Rohingya refugees escaping violence in Myanmar have sought protection in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – increasing the area’s refugee population to nearly 900 000. Some 1.2 million people of both refugee and host community populations are in need of food security and livelihoods assistance.

The speed and scale of the influx has placed extensive pressure on public services in host communities and may have a long-lasting environmental impact. Firewood collection has exacerbated ongoing serious deforestation in areas surrounding refugee camps, resulting in a dwindling supply of cooking fuel. The majority do not have sufficient food, cooking fuel or cooking utensils.

The crisis has cost the host community significantly through loss of natural resources, rises in food, cooking fuel and transportation prices, and a highly competitive labour market with greatly decreased wages. Firewood selling was previously one of the few local income-generating activities. Ensuring livelihood opportunities for host communities is vital to maintain peace and foster social cohesion. The situation for both communities is increasingly dangerous with the onset of the cyclone season and start of monsoon rains.

Together with the Government of Bangladesh and humanitarian partners, FAO is linking local production to expanding food markets to generate income and improve nutrition, as well as preparing preparedness plans for the approaching cyclone season. Cash-for-work activities in watershed management will help to stabilize the land, prevent topsoil loss and re-establish forests.

FAO’s priority interventions are to:

  • curtail environmental degradation and rehabilitate the natural resource base;
  • provide economic opportunities to host communities while increasing local food production;
  • improve the nutrition of refugee and host community populations.
 

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