Area-Based Approaches to Foster Community in Refugee Camps

Between August and December 2018, escalating tension and violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State forced an estimated 688,000 Rohingya from their homes. They have been the victims of violence including sexual assault, burning of villages creating mass displacement. Their needs for the most basic human essentials were tremendous and include shelter, food, clean water, living supplies, protection and child safety. Most of the influx happened near the town of Cox’s Bazaar, in the South of Bangladesh, joining the resident host population and the existing Kutapalong camp where around 300,000 Rohingya had settled in previous years. Due to security issues, return to their birth land is unlikely for some time, and so their future is very uncertain.CRS did a pilot area-based project in the BB site in the Rohingya camp at Cox’s Bazaar sought to improve living conditions for refugee families and communities through a shelter and community site improvement project. The CRS/Caritas BB project successfully supported 182 families with shelter improvements, along with significant improvements to water, sanitation, access routes, and disaster resilience. At the same time, the project sought to build community cohesion through its program model that was later promoted to other sector partners by the shelter cluster.