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Bangladesh (Cox’s Bazar )


Coordination mechanism: Sector
Year of activation: 2017
Other: 1 Govt Liaison to Civil Surgeon Office, and other govt stakeholders, 1 Knowledge Management Officer (UNV), and 1 Emergency Nutrition Officer.
Coordination arrangement: Co-led by UNICEF and Civil Surgeon Office, under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Sub-national, but independent from the National Cluster. The sector is dedicated to supporting Rohingya response (Rohingya Community and the Host Communities that are affected by the Rohingya influx).

Country Coordinators

Bakhodir Rahimov

Sector Coordinator

Abid Hasan

Information Management Officer

Mid-year report 2021

January to June 2021

Humanitarian Needs Overview 2021 (HNO)

According to the UNHCR 2021 population estimate, there are 163,754 children under five, 45,800 pregnant and lactating women within the 884,041 total population in the Rohingya camps.

The nutrition sector referring to the HNO2021 aims to provide life-saving nutrition services for 58,000 SAM (Severe Acute Malnutrition) and MAM (Moderate Acute Malnutrition) children under five and 7,500 MAM pregnant and lactating women (reference: Nutrition sector HNO 2021).

Besides that, all Rohingya children under five, pregnant and lactating women benefit from a network of preventive nutrition services such as vitamin A, iron and folic acid tablets supplementation and nutrition counselling.

Nutrition sector partners also provide nutrition services for the host communities. According to the HNO 2021, essential nutrition services are available for over 56,000 children under five and 18,000 pregnant and lactating women within 541,000 of the total population in the host communities. The nutrition partners aim to reach 1,600 and MAM treatment over 4,500 children under five and provide essential nutrition services for over 2,000 MAM pregnant and lactating women.

Joint Response Plan 2021 (JRP)

The JRP 2021 for the nutrition sector in Cox's Bazar received three objectives:

Objective 1. All girls and boys under five, adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women have access to high-quality lifesaving, gender-sensitive and inclusive, integrated nutrition services through the rationalised nutrition facilities in the camps and government healthcare and nutrition institutions.

Objective 2. All boys and girls, pregnant and lactating women uninterruptedly accessing and utilising various preventive nutrition services, benefiting from practising optimal maternal and child feeding recommendations, improved dietary diversity and meal frequencies through nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive community nutrition interventions, including in emergency outbreaks.

Objective 3. All implementing partners have enhanced capacities in understanding and applying localisation dimensions, optimised staffing for running the gender-sensitive, transparent, accessible and quality evidence-based, inclusive and integrated nutrition services in the Rohingya and host communities.

In 2021, Sector partners will focus on the continued provision of life-saving nutrition services through 46 community-integrated nutrition facilities (INF) and 5 stabilisation centres (SC) in the camps. The Sector will further enhance the capacity of the INFs to providing inclusive, gender-sensitive life-saving services for the under-five children with severe and moderate acute malnutrition, with concerted efforts to ensure community mobilisation and engagement activities.

Specific Sector priorities for 2021 will include continuing to screen and admit SAM and MAM children and PLW women to nutrition treatment programmes; conducting vitamin A deficiency preventive and deworming programmes; and delivering Maternal, Infant and Young Child Feeding (MIYCF) programmes, ensuring the “first 1,000 days”[1] approach remains central and focusing on Mother Support Group approaches. Throughout 2020, partners trained 130,000 mothers on measuring malnutrition in their children using the Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) method and referring them to nutrition services; this approach will be further scaled up in 2021.

Further to the provision of lifesaving and therapeutic nutrition services, the Sector will strive to provide disability-inclusive (disability friendly services) and integrated nutrition services to ensure harmonised child growth and development in a friendly environment (ECCD)

In 2020, Nutrition partners successfully trialled and adopted basic elements of disability screening in nutrition services and in 2021 further capacity building of staff and volunteers to identify and refer malnourished disabled children will continue to be a priority. In further efforts to ensure inclusive nutrition services, the IYCF programme will be expanded in 2021 to include ECCD and MHPSS services. These services will be integrated into IYCF programming, with the view to supporting already enrolled SAM and MAM children aged three to five years with educational and training materials and to encourage harmonised child development and growth.

Using national protocols and guidelines, the Sector will continue to provide life-saving essential nutrition curative and preventive service to malnourished children and PLW in the host community. Partners will provide SAM and MAM treatment services for over 8,800 children under five and a total of 2,975 MAM PLW. Nutrition partners will respond to the IYCF needs of 25,500 mothers and caregivers of children under five using one-on-one or small groups counselling sessions. A total of 78,500 PLW and adolescent girls will receive Iron and Folic Acid supplements as part of an anaemia prevention programme. The Sector will promote and scale up different information and knowledge exchange platforms for building capacities of local community leaders, government institutions, health and nutrition government authorities for expanding the localisation dimensions.

Sector Challenges 2021

  • The COVID-19 lockdown in the camps limited the number of front line service providers in the camps' nutrition integrated facilities. The frequency of regular services in the camps is extended because of staff shortages (e.g. BSFP rounds). The nutrition community screening programme faces access restrictions in some communities and therefore have to engage mothers through the mother led MUAC programme.
  • The infection also spreads between nutrition service providers. There are increasing cases of COVID-19 infection among nutrition service providers in the camps. The vaccination has not covered all service providers and Rohingya nutrition volunteers. The IPC measures are strictly followed, however, the new Delta form of the virus is highly contagious.
  • The shortage of funds in 2021 dramatically squeezed the presence and volume of partnership in the camps. Some international agencies in 2021 have declared discontinuation of the programme in the camps by the end of 2021 because of cut funding. The COVID-19 financial global crisis also impacts the humanitarian response therefore the sector is looking for integrated services for optimizing staffing but keeping the volume of minimum life-saving services.

Key Figures



People HRP 2021 - Water
People HRP 2021 - Sanitation
People HRP 2021 - Hygiene
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