COVID-19: socio-environmental challenges of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
Multifaceted international and national collaborative responses and progress have sustained the world’s largest densely populated refugee camps in the Cox’s Bazar district, Bangladesh. Yet, the Rohingyas remain in an extremely precarious situation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The refugees are living in highly challenging circumstances of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), natural disasters of the monsoon season as well as existing health and educational challenges of HIV, malnutrition and other diseases. Particulate matter PM2.5 in the sampling camps varied from 44 μg/m3 to 546 μg/m3, whereas PM10 in the sampling camps varied from 125 μg/m3 to 1122 μg/m3. Due to lock-down of Cox’s Bazar, aid workers in and out of the camps were restrained with the only continuation of emergency food and medical service supplies. Largely dependent on aid during the ongoing pandemic, an investigation of the socio-environmental challenges of the refugee camps will identify the anticipatory impacts and needs. © 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
atmospheric pollution; COVID-19; human immunodeficiency virus; hygiene; malnutrition; natural disaster; particulate matter; refugee; sanitation; viral disease; Bangladesh