In August 2017, the humanitarian situation in the Rakhine State of Myanmar triggered a large influx of Rohingya civilians to cross into Bangladesh to Cox's Bazar. Since then, an estimated 655,000 Rohingyas refugees have crossed into Bangladesh, increasing the total Rohingya population residing in the Cox's Bazar area to over 866,000. The speed and scale of the refugee influx has resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency that is being handled by UN agencies, other humanitarian partners and volunteers.
Partners for Prevention (P4P) is a UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV regional joint programme for the prevention of violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific. After 10 years of operation, the project came to a close in March of this year. A final report on the programme assessed the role volunteerism played in the primary prevention of such violence.
As an international UN Volunteer specialized in communication, Catalin was one of the first people to be sent to Cox’s Bazar to document the response of WHO Bangladesh. “Prior to the escalation of this crisis, there were already established partnerships between WHO, the government and other health partners. With the massive influx of people from Myanmar, strategies had to be adapted to this critical situation,” explains Catalin.
I was looking at the UNV Bangladesh Facebook page when I noticed that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh was looking for a UN Volunteer to serve as Research Assistant to work on daily media briefings, data entry and standardization, and drafting policy briefs for the Democratic Governance Cluster. Their needs tied directly to my interests and areas of expertise. When UNV contacted me, it was indeed a remarkable day.
As many as 68 per cent of women and girls aged 15-49 in Asia and the Pacific face some form of violence in their lifetime. This is one of the highest levels reported in the world.
The 16 days of activism campaign is a global initiative to raise awareness and combat all forms of gender based violence. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme joined the 2014 campaign in Bangladesh and decided to focus on an issue often raised during discussions with Bangladeshi citizens: gender and public transportation.