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Bangladesh: Focusing on people in need

21-07-2014 Operational Update

Communal tensions, politically motivated violence and other disturbances affect the lives of ordinary Bangladeshis in parts of the country. Together with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), the ICRC is working to help people in need.

Ensuring that the wounded receive prompt and safe access to health care is a focus of joint efforts by the ICRC and BDRCS. For example, in the run-up to the 10th parliamentary elections, political and/or intercommunal violence was on the rise. General strikes (hartals) disrupted life in the country, resulting in casualties and the destruction of dwellings and shops. BDRCS first-responders, supported by the ICRC, provided first aid to some 150 wounded people and referred 25 seriously injured people to hospitals.

“Every effort has to be made to ensure that first-responders and medical personnel can carry out their activities unhindered during political violence, and that those involved respect Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems,” said Christine Cipolla, head of the ICRC delegation in Dhaka.

In Cox’s Bazar district, southeast of Bangladesh bordering with Myanmar, the BDRCS, supported by the ICRC, started to assist two health facilities in order to increase and improve access to quality medical services for both the resident and refugee populations.

More than 4,700 people affected by political violence in Khulna, Rangpur and Chittagong Divisions had their immediate needs met through distributions of emergency relief and cash grants.

To develop and improve the physical rehabilitation services in Bangladesh and to increase accessibility for the destitute physically disabled persons, the ICRC helps supports the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed in Dhaka and Chittagong.

In the first half of 2014, 262 patients obtained 54 prostheses and 290 orthoses. The ICRC has also been supporting the newly established Prosthetics and Orthotics School in Bangladesh, providing scholarships for 13 students.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement continues to restore links between families in Bangladesh and relatives detained abroad. In the first half of 2014, three repatriations were organized in coordination with the Bangladeshi Foreign and Home Affairs Ministries. The living conditions of 535 vulnerable foreign detainees in 37 prisons were improved thanks to assistance kits (body and laundry soaps, cloth, towel, shirt, toothpaste etc) provided by the BDRCS and the ICRC.


Read more about the ICRC's work in Bangladesh.

For further information, please contact:
Michael Kifle, ICRC Dhaka, tel: +880 1730 329 307
Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 30 23 or +41 79 251 93 02