Restrictions put in place to confine COVID-19 in Bangladesh have stopped much of the humanitarian work in the world’s largest refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar. DSV supports Red Cross to provide food, shelter and protection.
Even though the number of confirmed cases is still relatively low in Cox’s Bazar, COVID-19 has had huge consequences for the population of more than 860,000 refugees. Much of the humanitarian work both in the camp – and in the host communities surrounding the camp – has been put on hold.
“The coronavirus pandemic has made matters worse for many vulnerable populations, including refugees at Cox’s Bazar. As part of our collaboration with the Danish Red Cross, we’re providing a financial donation to support humanitarian efforts in the area,” says Lindsay Zingg, Senior Director, Sustainability, DSV.
Red Cross is present both in the refugee camp and in the host communities to confine COVID-19 and its consequences. More than 4,600 people have tested positive for COVID-19 among the host communities.
“It’s very important to support the livelihoods of the host communities and communities within the refugee camp. Furthermore, they need psychosocial support, water, sanitation and healthcare. We are challenged by the restrictions due to COVID-19, but we are doing our best to assist and to adapt our programmes to reach as many as possible,” says Lea Jimera Acallar, Programme Delegate in Cox’s Bazar with Red Cross.
The first case of COVID-19 inside the camp was confirmed on 14 May, and since then, more than 270 people have tested positive. Red Cross expects the number to be much higher though, as the people who show symptoms are stigmatized. The fear of being tested positive stops people from being tested at all.
There is a lot of fear, misinformation and rumours regarding COVID-19, isolation and quarantine in the camp. Therefore, Red Cross is raising awareness of the virus and assisting with psychosocial support to help the population in the camp to cope with this stressful and terrifying situation.