More than 500,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since the end of August from neighboring Myanmar. Handicap International is stepping up its humanitarian aid effort in response to this crisis, which is unprecedented in the region. Since August 25, the organization has already supplied humanitarian assistance to 15,000 people. Nearly 700 people have already been given rehabilitation care, 4,000 have received emergency psychological support, and we have recorded nearly 6,000 extremely vulnerable individuals.
Care for the most vulnerable
Handicap International has set up seven mobile teams. These teams of physical therapists, psychologists, social workers, and children activity organizers visit refugee camps to identify the most vulnerable individuals–pregnant women, children older women, and people with disabilities–and make sure that they are referred to the services that fit their needs. We also supply them with immediate rehabilitation or psychological assistance. In addition, we organize play activities for children traumatized or stressed by their experiences because play is vital for development and processing difficult information.
Rehab center on wheels
In partnership with a local organization, Center for disabilities and development, Handicap International runs a fully equipped mobile rehabilitation center for physical therapy sessions, taking measurements for prosthetics and orthotics, and transporting toys for children’s play sessions. The rehab center on wheels travels to remote areas of Bangladesh and allows our mobile team to support people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to aid.
Our teams also set up four welcome stations in the country where we provide advice on hygiene, cholera prevention, the distribution of humanitarian assistant, supply to rehabilitation care, psychological support session, and basic medical care for less serious injures. These welcome stations are located in the new refugee camps and support 50 individuals each day on average. Three additional welcome stations will be set up in the next few days.
HI is working in partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to identify vulnerable individuals in transit points set up by the UNHCR.
Approximately 100 HI staff members and 200 voluntary workers are currently providing assistance to Rohingya refugees.