Bangladesh

ASHAR Alo Project (Action for Supporting the Host Communities: Adaptation and Resilience)

ASHAR Alo (Action for Supporting the Host Communities: Adaptation and Resilience), meaning ‘Light of Hope’ in Bangla.
The project activities are focused on Jaliyapalong, Haldiapalang,Ratna Palong, PalongKhali union of Ukhiya Upzila and Dakshin Mithachari and Chakmarkul union of Ramu Upazila. CARE aims to strengthen host communities' resilience by enhancing community-based disaster risk reduction (DRR), upgrading infrastructure, and providing livelihoods opportunities across shelter, settlement, and WASH sectors. The project also responds to the urgent protection and gender-based violence needs in the host community. Activities are being undertaken in collaboration with government and community stakeholders and UN and NGO actors.
Cox’s Bazar is amongst the poorest districts of Bangladesh. In Ukhia, 33% of people live below the poverty line, and 17% below extreme poverty. This is linked to the region's poor land quality and high risk of natural disaster. Since the Myanmar refugee influx in the fall of 2017, over 902,984 refugees or 201,150 households (HH)s have settled in Ukhiya, and Teknaf.1 Despite limited resources, the local host community population welcomed the arriving refugees during the fall of 2017, sharing food, shelter, and supplies. However, the refugees’ extended presence has strained the community’s already scarce resources. Within the sub-region, Ukhia and Teknaf have been particularly affected, with 336,000 residents directly impacted by the refugee influx,2 leading to a deterioration of relations between these host community members and the refugees.
The region is highly prone to natural disasters; it experiences regular cyclones, floods, and landslides with triple global average precipitation3. Both individual homes and community shelters are weak and in disrepair. Over 40% of households do not meet Sphere standards; they are overcrowded, fragile and highly susceptible to damage and destruction by strong winds, rain, and flooding4. Land degradation, including the daily removal of over 700 metric tons of firewood from the area, has led to a loss of topsoil, coupled with the heightened risk of flash flooding, which has increased the potential destruction5. The accumulation of improperly disposed waste and poor pre-existing drainage systems aggravate these risks and increase the likelihood of damage to host communities6. Furthermore, community response plans and structures are ill-equipped to safeguard or offer substantive protection. [19 pages] Read More...

Gender Gaps in COVID 19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccinations are quickly becoming a story of inequality. Gender inequality is a critical part of this story. In 16 countries where CARE has data, women are less likely to be vaccinated, and less likely to feel vaccines are safe.
There are massive local and global gaps in who can get vaccinated Only 1 9 of people in low income countries are vaccinated, and 79 of vaccinations have been in wealth countries Tragically, wealth and geography are just two factors that skew access to vaccines Another is gender In many low and middle income countries, women are less likely to get COVID-19 vaccines than men are This compounds gender inequality women are already facing in health and decision making Read More...

Host Community Situation Analysis Impact of Rohingya Influx on Host Communities in Ukhia and Teknaf

Bangladesh became host to what is now the biggest refugee camp in the whole world. By November 2017 836,487 FDMN (Forcefully Displaced Myanmar Nationals) fled across the Myanmar-Bangladesh border to settle here mostly in two Upazilas:Ukhia and Teknaf of Cox's Bazar district. By January 2018, it became clear that this would be a prolonged crisis lasting years as the Myanmar government continued dithering about taking them back, and as also the FDMN expressed their unwillingness to go back fearing persecution. As a result of this huge and sudden influx, lives and livelihoods of the host communities have been affected in many ways. Therefore, this Situational Assessment aims to assess both the visible economic and the subtle social impacts of the recent influx on the host communities. Using Oxford’s integration conceptual framework, this assessment has been conducted to chalk out CARE Bangladesh’s future response to the refugee crisis by involving the host communities in the process and addressing their concerns so that the tension between the two communities is defused rather than intensified.
Presence of the refugees has brought about many social and economic changes creating massive pressure on the host communities. Economic activities in the two upazilas have gone through transitions, leading to the emergence of a new market system and reducing employment opportunities for the host communities.
On one hand prices of essentials have shot up almost twice as much, and on the other, due to an unpredictably large number of refugees entering the local labor market wages for day laborers have gone down. Though refugees are living in highly congested camps, they are getting aid materials as well as economic opportunity in the local market. On the contrary, the host communities are finding themselves pitted against the refugees as either their work have been taken away or their earnings significantly reduced. It is true that a few locally influential people owning large tracts of land and businesses are benefitting from the availability of cheap labor, but the poor and the ultra-poor from the host communities are bearing the brunt of these changes. Access to administrative, educational and healthcare needs has diminished. Reduced access and availability of CPR-resultant scarcity of timber, bamboo for shelter, food & cooking fuel created insecurity of accessing resources. Due to security risk of woman and girls mobility has goes down, women income earning opportunity getting reduced; all of this has evidently created tension between the host and the refugee communities and within host community households. If left unaddressed, this tension is likely to rise to the extent of creating potential threats of ethnic conflicts.
In response to these findings of the situational analysis possible types of interventions could be Gender specific livelihoods strengthening initiatives based on diversification of off/on farm activities, Transformative approach to build life free from GBV, Promoting youth leadership and Strengthening service delivery and demand side functions through Inclusive governance.
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GENDER AND COVID-19 VACCINES Listening to women-focused organizations in Asia and the Pacific

More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed across at least 176 countries, with over 1.7 billion doses administered worldwide. Combating the pandemic requires equitable distribution of safe and effective vaccines, however, women and girls are impacted by gaps both in the supply side and the demand side that hamper equitable distribution of the vaccine. Evidence reveals that 75 per cent of all vaccines have gone to just 10 countries, and only 0.3 per cent of doses have been administered in low-income countries. Very few of COVID-19 vaccines are going to those most vulnerable. The vaccine rollout in Asia and the Pacific has been relatively slow and staggered amid secondary waves of the virus. India, despite being the largest vaccine developer, has only vaccinated 3 per cent of the population and continues to battle a variant outbreak that, at its peak, was responsible for more than half of the world’s daily COVID-19 cases and set a record-breaking pace of about 400,000 cases per day.5However, the small Pacific nation of Nauru, reported a world record administering the first dose to 7,392 people, 108 per cent of the adult population within four weeks. Bhutan also set an example by vaccinating 93 per cent of its eligible population in less than two weeks. That success could be at risk, given the situation in India and the suspended export of vaccines. Read More...

Evaluation of Enhancing Mobile Populations’ Access to HIV and AIDS Services (EMPHASIS)

EMPHASIS is a 5 year project funded by Big Lottery Fund, UK, which was initiated in August 2009 and is due to conclude in July 2014. It has been implemented in Nepal, India and Bangladesh to address both HIV and AIDS vulnerability and safe mobility issues of cross border migrant populations. Its overall goal has been to contribute to reduction of vulnerability of mobile populations (particularly women) to HIV infection across selected cross border regions within India, Bangladesh and Nepal. There has however, appropriately, been an increased focus on safe mobility issues within the last two years of the project. The three main outcomes of the project focus on: 1) the development of an effective and integrated cross border model of HIV prevention, care, treatment and support to benefit mobile populations and their families and target groups at source, transit and destination locations who are vulnerable to acquiring and spreading HIV and AIDS, 2) building the capacity of partner organizations (including regional authorities, government agencies, border police, customs officials, research institutions, NGO, Community Based Organizations [CBO] and key stakeholders) to deliver improved and integrated services to mobile populations vulnerable to HIV, 3) Increasing recognition of the vulnerabilities of mobile populations and demonstration of ways to address them in source and destination communities that will inform policies and produce evidence based advocacy messages with which to lobby government stakeholders. The aim of this evaluation is to assess the project according to its three outcomes areas and to assess the effectiveness and relevance of different interventions. One week visits to India, Nepal and Bangladesh were conducted at the end of January/ early February 2014 by a team of three people, during which interviews and focus group discussion were conducted, and a Lickert Scale tool administered. These visits were then supplemented by some additional meetings in Bangladesh in April, following the production of the first draft report. An endline study was conducted in parallel to the evaluation, and its conclusions are also drawn upon in this report. [88 Pages] Read More...

Bangladeshi Sailors Vulnerability to HIV and AIDs

Enhancing Mobile Populations’ Access to HIV and AIDS Services, Information, and Support (EMPHASIS) is a 5-year initiative funded by the UK’s Big Lottery Fund. The project has been implemented by CARE in three countries,
Bangladesh, India and Nepal. This study was initiated to generate evidence around the vulnerabilities faced by migrant populations traveling to India. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to explore the vulnerability of sailors and a standard BCC questionnaire was used to assess knowledge around HIV and AIDS. Qualitative methods were used to compliment quantitative findings to reveal other socio-economic dynamics that can contribute HIV and AIDS related vulnerabilities. Data collection was carried out in both Bangladesh and India. Both qualitative and quantitative data collection was done in Bangladesh,. As entry into the ports in India was restricted, only qualitative methods were used there. A total of 154 were interviewed with a quantitative questionnaire and 24 sailors participated in in-depth interviews. Focus group discussions (FGD) and Key Informant Interviews were conducted with selected community members such as doctors, Noujan Srameek Union members, and vendors. [46 Pages] Read More...

Journeys: Experiences of Nepalese and Bangladeshi cross border migrants living with HIV

Enhancing Mobile Population’s Access to HIV and AIDS Information (EMPHASIS), Services and Support is a 5-year project funded by Big Lottery Fund, UK. EMPHASIS is implemented in Nepal, India and Bangladesh to address AIDS related vulnerabilities of cross border populations who are moving between Bangladesh, India and Nepal EMPHASIS is an operations research project and one of the pioneer regional projects to address HIV and AIDS vulnerability among cross border populations. The project aims to address its goals through service provision,
capacity building of relevant partners/stakeholders, and advocacy through generating evidence. As part of generating evidence, EMPHASIS developed a research study to investigate the dynamics associated with accessing services for mobile groups who are already affected by HIV and AIDS. This study examines people and questions that were not covered by the EMPHASIS baseline survey that was previously conducted.

Three separate studies were conducted in Bangladesh, Nepal and India. Bangladesh and Nepal first initiated the study aiming to understand the dynamics of HIV infection among migrant populations and also to assess barriers to accessing services at source. In India the study was initiated later, to assess the barriers to accessing services at destination. The prime objective of the study was to present these barriers to services at the regional level among the regional stakeholders. Sharing the findings at South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) could be an important way to initiate dialogue between the governments of Nepal and India to formalize a cross border referral system. Country specific barriers to services will be provided as evidence to inform policy at the national level. [45 Pages] Read More...

Vulnerability to HIV & AIDS: A social Research on Cross Border Mobile Population from Bangladesh to India

There are a growing number of people migrating between Bangladesh, Nepal and India. Mobility has long been linked with heightened vulnerability to HIV & AIDS. While overall
HIV prevalence is low in Bangladesh and Nepal, there is a growing concern that vulnerable mobile populations are forming a bridge between high prevalence areas of India and low prevalence areas in Bangladesh and Nepal. Enhancing Mobile Populations’ Access to HIV & AIDS Services Information and Support (EMPHASIS) is a regional program being implemented by CARE Bangladesh, CARE India and CARE Nepal and led by CARE International UK (CIUK) to reduce AIDS related vulnerabilities among mobile populations crossing the borders of Bangladesh and Nepal into India. This 5-year (August 2009 – July 2014) program, is funded by the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) of United Kingdom.

Baseline Research on cross border migration was initiated to understand the drivers of mobility, access to services for migrants at source and destination, and to understand the risk and vulnerabilities associated with migration and HIV & AIDS. The study was conducted using quantitative methods and a separate qualitative study was conducted to enhance and complement the quantitative data. [57 Pages] Read More...

Rapid Assessment on COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake by Urban Marginalised Population in Bangladesh

As of 31 March 2021, there have been 127,877,462 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including 2,796,561 deaths in 223 countries as reported by WHO. Bangladesh had 6,11,295 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9,406 confirmed deaths till the end of March 2021. In response to this situation, the administration of the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine officially started on 7 February 2021 in the national hospitals and health complexes all over Bangladesh. Despite acute demand for the vaccine, a great deal of misinformation and misconception is also apparent among general people. With the ongoing vaccine administration, it is very important to understand community acceptance of COVID-19 vaccinations.
People’s knowledge, attitudes and perceptions towards COVID-19 are of utmost importance for Government and policymakers to address all barriers to vaccine uptake and ensuring that everyone has access to vaccine. With these contexts, this survey aims to identify the overall COVID-19 vaccination perceptions among the urban marginalized population in Bangladesh based on three main objectives:
 Understanding the knowledge and practice related to COVID-19 prevention
 Assessing the knowledge and perspective regarding COVID-19 vaccination
program
 To know the status of vaccine uptake among marginalized population
The urban marginalized population were purposively selected, as they are more likely to be unaccounted for or have the least access to the COVID-19 vaccine administration process. In this survey, researchers captured only the population that are direct service recipient of the Urban Health Programme (garment workers and people who inject drug) and other groups who are available around the catchment areas of the service centres of the facilities. Read More...

Baseline Study on “Improving lives of Rohingya refugees and host community members in Bangladesh through sexual and reproductive healthcare integrated with gender-based violence prevention and response” Project

In response to the health and protection needs of the Rohingya refugees and the host communities in Cox ́s Bazar, CARE is implementing the project “Improving lives of Rohingya refugees and host community members in Bangladesh through sexual and reproductive healthcare integrated with gender-based violence prevention and response” with funding support by German Federal Foreign Office. This is a two year project targeting Rohingya refuges of camp 11, 12, 15 and 16 and vulnerable host communities of Jaliapalong union for GBV and SRH services.
To achieve improved sexual and reproductive health, GBV survivor support and protection from GBV of Rohingya Refugees in Cox ́s Bazar in Bangladesh, this project works across three outcomes. Firstly general and sexual and reproductive (SRH) health services will be provided through decetralised health centers which will rove around the target areas to provide services to people at their doorsteps. Improved Menstrual Hygiene management (MHM) is the second outcome of this project. There is an absence of space for washing and drying menstrual hyiene materials, leading women and girls to risk their health by drying their materials indoors. Through this project, therefore, two MHM spaces will be constructed next to CARE’s existing women and girls’ safe spaces (WGSS) in camps 12 and 16. The construction will be accompanied with training to ensure that the spaces are used appropriate. The third project outcome focuses on prevention of and response to gender-based violence. Services include psychosocial counselling, referral of GBV survivors, life-skills training, information and awareness-raising and recreational activities. These activities are complemented by community outreach activities, conducted through Rohingya volunteers, to ensure that the communities know about and can access the WGSS, and challenging harmful social norms associated with GBV. Community outreach will take place in camps 12 and 16 amongst refugee populations.
This report is 22 pages long. Read More...

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