Bangladesh: Impact of COVID-19 on gender programming, Rohingya response
On 14 May UNHCR confirmed one Rohingya refugee living in the Kutupalong-Balukhali expansion site had tested positive for COVID-19. As of the date of publication, there are 27 confirmed cases (22% female/78% male) in 9 camps, and a total of 637 (27% female/73% male) cases in Cox’s Bazar district. As the number of confirmed cases rise among the estimated 860,000 Rohingya refugees residing in 34 overcrowded, makeshift camps, humanitarian agencies are likely to face increasing challenges in responding to critical needs. Strict measures have been introduced in an attempt to break the chain of transmission and slow the spread of COVID-19, including a drastic decrease in humanitarian presence in the camps, the suspension of programmes not considered lifesaving, and changes to the ways in which programmes are being delivered in order to maintain physical distancing and adhere to strict hygiene protocols. This analysis will examine how these changes are impacting humanitarian’s ability to deliver gender responsive and gender sensitive programming in order to inform humanitarian responders and enable them to consider strategies to mitigate any risks arising.