Bangladesh has received over the years many Rohingyas whose number according to the National Strategy on Myanmar Refugees and Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UMN)s, could range from 300,000 to 500,000. Following an outbreak of violence on the October 9, 2016 in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, thousands of UMN have fled to Bangladesh. As of 23 February 2017, it is estimated that approximately over 74,000 UMN from Rakhine State have crossed the border and are residing in the registered camps, makeshift settlements, Cox’s Bazar city and in the host villages of Teknaf, Ukhiya and Balukhali districts.
In Bangladesh, cluster-like coordination mechanisms are present along with a Humanitarian Country Team Taskforce. There is as well a UNHCR led refugee response for refugees in camps. Both are not coreing the UMN population outside of registered camps and in host communities as per limitations and access limitations decreed by authorities. Hosting Communities in the second poorest district in Bangladesh also present severe needs and coping capacities are now overstretched by new arrivals of UMNs.
The National Task Force responsible for operationalizing the Government’s National Strategy Instructed IOM since 2013 through the MoFA to lead a coordination structure for UMN humanitarian assistance separate from the previously mentioned coordination platforms. IOM therefore established an Inter-Agency Coordination Mechanisms at National and Sub-National level. Evolving needs, a growth in response and a plethora of coordination meetings at field level have overwhelmed existing mechanisms thus leading to a new inter sector coordination approach. This approach is perceived by all stakeholders as necessary to respond to the scale of needs and to meet the level of coordination required.
To achieve joint programming and a timely response that is needs based oriented and based on evidence, the sectorial coordination approach acts as an overarching structure to ensure the humanitarian needs of all targeted populations are addressed.
The inter-sectoral coordination portal (previously inter agency coordination website) serves as a one stop information hub for the agencies working with the Rohingya issue. It was first developed on September 2016. Upon receiving feedback from partners, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) further modified and upgraded the contents, making it more user friendly, informative and useful. The portal aims to facilitate the sectoral coordination approach through disseminating the latest information on who is doing what, where and when, important events, news and stories from the field.