Bangladesh is getting help from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve the camps where Rohingya refugees fleeing neighboring Myanmar have sought shelter.
The bank has approved a $100 million grant to Bangladesh. It’s the first half of a $200 million package.
“With the principle of putting people first, ADB’s project in this first phase will seek to provide basic infrastructure and services that will ease vulnerabilities and risk of hunger, disease, and disaster,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
The ADB said when the grant request was received the ADB “developed and processed the project at an extraordinary speed under its emergency procedure.”
The initial funds will help to rehabilitate roads within the camps to connect food distribution and storage centers, hospitals, schools and improve emergency access.
The refugee camps are in a region susceptible to a variety of natural hazards, including cyclones, monsoons, landslides, lightning, fires and heat waves. The project funds will also be used to strengthen disaster risk management by constructing cyclone shelters with emergency access roads, as well as food distribution centers, walls to protect against landslides and a storm water drainage network.
The government of Bangladesh will provide an additional $20 million for the improvements.
More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state since August 2017, after attacks by Rohingya militants against state security forces led to military reprisals. The United Nations says the military retaliated in a well-organized, systematic and coordinated manner, calling the response a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing.
Fleeing Rohingya have told harrowing accounts of the military burning their villages in northern Rakhine state, rapes, killings, looting and the laying of land mines to prevent them from returning to their homes.