UNHCR provides refugees with emergency shelter — tents, tarpaulins and demountable housing — in the immediate aftermath of displacement. After the overwhelming influx of Rohingya refugees in August, we are now working around the clock to provide site planning and camp management to ensure refugee housing is safe to withstand the monsoon, as well as economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
UNHCR distributes life-sustaining items such as mattresses, blankets, kitchen sets, jerrycans, stoves and fuel, soap and other sanitary items to refugees under its care. These supplies are tailored to the specific needs of the refugee population: for Rohingya refugees we are providing emergency shelter kits, as well as clean water and medical supplies. UNHCR maintains global stockpiles of core relief items for immediate delivery in emergency situations.
Malnutrition is a common consequence of conflict and displacement. UNHCR works with the World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure that all refugees have access to adequate nutrient-rich food. UNHCR assists with the distribution of food rations in camps and provides urban refugees with vouchers and cash assistance for the purchase of food and groceries. In acute situations such as the Rohingya crisis, UNHCR supports emergency nutrition and therapeutic feeding programs, supplying fortified milks and ready-to-use therapeutic foods.
Education is a crucial part of refugee relief, even in emergencies. School provides a safe and stable environment for children, restoring their sense of normality and routine, and allowing them to receive important health and safety messages. Education also helps people rebuild their communities and pursue productive, meaningful lives. Where refugees live in the community, UNHCR negotiates with governments to allow them access to local schools. In refugee camps, UNHCR promotes education for children and adults, operating schools and vocational training programs.
Children and families fleeing violence, war, disaster or persecution can be very vulnerable. UNHCR supplies displaced people with essential items, food and shelter to protect them from having to make dangerous decisions to survive. On a larger scale, UNHCR negotiates safe passage, asylum spaces and humanitarian access, upholding the rights of refugees and minimising the threat of violence, including sexual assault.