Catholic charities support Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Three leading Catholic charities have launched a joint venture to assist thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh who fled deadly bouts of persecution in Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Nov 21, 2020

By Stephan Uttom
Three leading Catholic charities have launched a joint venture to assist thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh who fled deadly bouts of persecution in Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Caritas Bangladesh, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and Catholic Relief Service (CRS) have joined hands to support the beleaguered community in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh.

A project workshop held in Cox’s Bazar on Nov. 15 kicked off the new project called Multipurpose Adolescent Center that aims for psychological development of children, counseling, skill development for adolescents, care for expectant mothers, child care and care for children with special needs.

The project, due to run until April 2021, will cover children aged 12-18 with possibilities of an extension, officials said.

Staff from Caritas emergency response program (ERP), representatives from JRS and CRS and officials from the state-run Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission participated in evaluation of work in 2020 and formulated a strategic plan for 2021.

Caritas has been active in refugee camps since 2017, when the mass exodus of Rohingya started following a genocidal military crackdown that led to more than 700,000 fleeing to Bangladesh.

With funding from Catholic agencies across the globe, Caritas has reached out to 146,819 refugees as well as 8,641 host community members with aid including food, non-food items, water and sanitation in the past years.   

Inmanuel Chayan Biswas, head of operations of Caritas ERP, said that JRS funding for the project was mainly for protection sectors, whereas CRS provides support for disaster risk reduction, shelter and protection. In addition, CRS also provides for technical and advisory support.

In the protection sector, JRS and CRS provide funding and support for mental health and skill development, he noted.

“Caritas Bangladesh is very proud to work with two donor agencies together. They are providing vital support to the Rohingya community through Caritas. They are not only donors but also technical supporters and advisers for Caritas,” said Biswas.--ucanews.com

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