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CERF allocates $3m to NGOs for helping Rohingyas amid pandemic

  • Published at 05:57 pm July 21st, 2020
Rohingya Camp
File photo of a Rohingya camp Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The SARI ITCs are one of the most fundamental programs to save lives from the Covid-19 pandemic in Cox’s Bazar District, for both refugees and Bangladeshi host communities

The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated a $3 million grant to three national NGOs and two international NGOs working on the Rohingya humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh. 

The grants range from $125,000 to $845,000 will help to address the most pressing health and water, sanitation and hygiene needs in the Covid-19 response, said the UN office in Dhaka on Tuesday. 

The national NGOs are Brac, Friendship, and Reaching People in Need and two international NGOs are Save the Children and World Vision.

CERF will support the establishment of a new 200-bed Covid-19 Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) Isolation Treatment Centre (ITC) in Cox’s Bazar Sadar, as well as sustain SARI ITC in the sub-districts of Ukhiya, near the Rohingya refugee camps. 

The SARI ITCs are one of the most fundamental programs to save lives from the Covid-19 pandemic in Cox’s Bazar District, for both refugees and Bangladeshi host communities. 

CERF will also support improved water, sanitation and hygiene in Government-run health facilities across Cox’s Bazar District, and the provision of additional and enhanced handwashing points, soap, and sanitation services in the camps to help curb the spread of the virus.

This significant and innovative contribution to Bangladesh forms part of a $25 million global allocation from CERF to support front-line NGOs life-saving health and water and sanitation responses outlined in the Global Humanitarian Response Plan for Covid-19. 

This exceptional multi-country allocation is being channeled to NGOs at the country level, with the administrative support from the International Organization for Migration. 

This is a critical step in the delivery of effective humanitarian assistance, marking the way to support grassroots and direct implementation efforts to get closer to the needs of affected people and communities.

Based on the guidance from the CERF Secretariat, NGOs were selected by a selection committee based on their proven technical expertise, implementation capacity, geographical coverage, and alignment with the priority activities for the coronavirus response as outlined in the addendum to the Joint Response Plan 2020. 

The process was completed in an expedited and urgent basis to ensure that funds were made available to respond to immediate needs. 

Gender considerations and the needs of people living with disabilities or having specific needs were also prioritized in the selection process. 

Within these parameters, and in line with the Grand Bargain and the IASC interim guidelines on localization, the maximization of direct funding to national NGOs was favored in the selection process. 

The UN system in Bangladesh commends the work of national and local organizations in the Covid-19 response and supports the shift to increased implementation and delivery of humanitarian aid by national actors supported by planned, targeted, and mutual capacity development. 

This shift aims towards equitable partnerships, good practices on funding, and coordination approaches that increase leadership of national and local organizations, resulting in sustainable solutions for all communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. 

CERF is one of the "fastest and most effective" ways to help people affected by crises. 

Since its creation, it has assisted hundreds of millions of people with more than $6.5 billion across 104 countries and territories. 

This would have not been possible without generous and consistent donor support.

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