United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the government of Bangladesh have inaugurated a new cash-based intervention (CBI) programme in Cox's Bazar to support vulnerable Bangladeshi families in the Cox's Bazar during the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Over the course of a year, more than 35,887 families will benefit from this cash support provided in monthly instalment basis or one-off payments in both Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas as part of the Covid-19 response, said a press release issued by UNHCR on Tuesday.
Deputy Commissioner of Cox's Bazar Md Kamal Hossain said, "I hope this support will reach the truly vulnerable people in the host communities. There are many vulnerable people in Cox's Bazar, and I hope that together we can also support them."
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank UNHCR and their partners for the magnitude of support provided to both the Rohingya camps and the host communities," added Kamal.
Head of Operations for UNHCR in Cox's Bazar Marin Din Kajdomcaj said, "Hosting the world's largest refugee camp, the Government and people of Bangladesh have shown to the world what humanity and support means".
"At times of global uncertainty and socio-economic struggle due to the Covid-19 pandemic, UNHCR extends the hand of financial support to host communities in support to lost livelihoods," added Marin.
According to the press statement, the programme supports 16,887 families as part of the existing social protection programme of the Government of Bangladesh through cash from the Bangladesh Post Office.
A further 19,000 targeted families have been selected for emergency cash assistance through 'Mobile Money', following assessments conducted in early 2020, using a combination of socio-economic criteria.
More than 5,600 families have already received their first instalments, the release said.
UNHCR's aims to support both refugees and host communities by providing increased choice and dignity and promoting social cohesion and interaction between the refugees and the local population of Bangladesh.
To avoid direct contact and minimise the risks of transmission of Covid-19, part of the CBI programme is being implemented through 'Mobile Money' by a variety of UNHCR partners, including BDRCS, BRAC, CNRS, Mukti and World Vision, as well as through agreements with bKash and Nagad, the release added.