KSrelief team visits UNICEF projects for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Monitoring and evaluation mission assesses significant impact.

Bahareh Yeganehfar
KSrelief team visits UNICEF projects for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
20 February 2022

Riyadh/Cox’s Bazar - In the summer of 2017, hundreds of thousands of terrified Rohingya refugees sought refuge in southern Bangladesh, fleeing unspeakable violence and brutality in Myanmar. At that time, UNICEF immediately stepped in to assess and respond to the needs of newly arrived Rohingya women and children. In the years since, UNICEF has been providing safe water, hygiene supplies, education in learning centres and through communities, health, nutrition services, and child protection, including psychosocial support.

Today, Bangladesh hosts more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees in the Cox’s Bazar District, around half of whom are children. UNICEF’s support for children and their families wouldn’t have been possible without our donors’ support. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s generosity has been instrumental in saving lives and significantly improving the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children and families.

In its latest grant to UNICEF Bangladesh provided in mid-2021, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) allocated US$4.1 million aimed at improving the health and nutrition status of women and children in Rohingya Refugee Camps in Cox’s Bazar.

The funding was channelled through the Global Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children - a joint initiative of UNICEF and Islamic Development Bank launched in 2019 to open new opportunities for Muslim philanthropy to reach the millions of children in need of humanitarian support and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

During a recent monitoring and evaluation mission, a senior technical team from KSrelief assessed the significant impact the project has already achieved.

Our team visited the project of Supporting Health and Nutrition Services through Primary Health Care for the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh for monitoring and evaluation. The project benefits 130,000 Rohingya refugees; of which 110,000 children under the age of five and 20,000 pregnant women and new mothers. Providing primary health care, training cadres to provide health care services for mothers and children and supporting logistical services for 13 health facilities are the project’s objectives,” said Dr. Abdullah Al Moallem, Head of the Health & Environmental Aid Department at KSrelief.

As part of the Muslim Philanthropy Fund for Children, the project is being implemented by our partner, UNICEF. We appreciate the strategic partnership of the Funds members, KSrelief, UNICEF and the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB). Our main objective is alleviating the human suffering and supporting the affected people globally,” continued Dr. Al Moallem.

KSrelief team visits UNICEF projects for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Under this partnership, health and nutritional services are supported through primary health care for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in collaboration with UNICEF, bringing urgent aid to an estimated target population of 165,560 people. As of 31 December 2021, the project helped to provide outpatient consultation services to over 73,000 children under the age of five years. In addition, nearly 10,000 women received antenatal and postnatal services and more than 1,500 babies were safely delivered in the KSrelief-supported health facilities.

The support received from KSrelief has been instrumental in strengthening UNICEF’s health and nutrition response to Rohingya refugee children and their families. It has also enabled us to equip health workers and service providers with resources to deliver urgent and quality service to the beneficiaries”, said Sayed Ezatullah Majeed, Chief of UNICEF Field Office in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

In addition, through the KSrelief funding support, trained community nutrition volunteers and mothers screened 53,000 children under five years for acute malnutrition and 870 severely malnourished children under the age of five years received the lifesaving treatment.

Thanks to this partnership, approximately 100,000 Rohingya refugee children aged 24 to 59 months living in camps have received deworming tablets.

Established in 2015, the KSrelief is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian arm dedicated to coordinating and delivering external humanitarian aid and international relief to crisis-afflicted communities. KSrelief has so far granted UNICEF more than US$334 million to support humanitarian response for children in a number of countries, including Yemen, Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Somalia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.