Humanity & Inclusion (HI) has worked in the Rohingya camps since 2013. Following the news of the devastating fires which blazed through the camps on 22nd March, HI's teams responded by assessing the situation, particularly in relation to the most vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities, pregnant women, and older people. Their aim was to determine the needs of disaster-affected families and identify unaccompanied and separated children. Some 500 people were contacted within 48 hours of the disaster.
The fire left many families without a roof over their heads or a change of clothes. Women and children were provided with immediate aid such as hygiene kits, mosquito nets, blankets and essential items. The mobility aids which had been previously supplied to families by HI’s teams were mostly burnt or destroyed. Families are in need of information, and many people with disabilities, older people and children traumatised by the fire require psychological support.
Alongside the situation assessment, HI’s teams began providing emergency response in the camps the day after the fire. They supplied psychological first aid in one-to-one and group sessions as well as trauma and burns care. They also set up an assistance mechanism for individuals who have lost mobility aids, such as crutches and walking frames. People affected by the disaster were also informed of available services, including protection for children and isolated women. HI's teams also organised recreational activities for children traumatised by the fire.
HI's logistics teams also helped organise the transport of humanitarian aid for organisations working in the camps. On 24 March, HI transported more than 15,000 hot meals for disaster-affected people.
Over the coming days, HI will extend its emergency response to include the distribution of cooking and hygiene kits, and other items.