Red R Training
01 Dec 2017
Humanitarian Logistics in Bangladesh

The humanitarian situation for more than 620,000 Rohingya refugees, who fled Myanmar for the safety of Bangladesh in the past three months, remains dire. A vaccination campaign is progressing in response to a measles outbreak, a cholera prevention plan is being developed amidst an increasing number of diarrheoa cases and there are grave child protection concerns with many children at risk of violence, abuse, sexual exploitation and trafficking.

RedR Australia has deployed eight people to the emergency as part of the Australian Government’s Australia Assists program. The Rohingya crisis is the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis and logistics expert Allison McNamara is one of the eight. She is working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

“I am responsible for the movement of all trucks and commodities arriving in-country and to the camps. This includes preparing up to 1000 household kits per day for distribution to new arrivals,” Allison said.

The household kits are designed for a household of five and contain sleeping mats, blankets, jerry cans, mosquito nets, a solar lamp, plastic tarpaulin, and kitchen cooking set and a bucket. UNHCR has distributed over 35,000 household kits to the Rohingya population since mid-September.

The agency has had 15 airlifts and four sea shipments of goods and has a 3000m2 warehouse in Chittagong to facilitate the large movement of stock coming in and already received.

Allison has also helped the agency move solar lighting which was installed in the camps and around the transit centre to improve safety and security at night.

The hours are long and the days intense even for a veteran like Allison who previously deployed to South Sudan during the civil war and was in Gaza during the 2008/09 war with Israel but she knows she is contributing to the lifesaving work of UNHCR in the makeshift camps.

“Everyone here is making a difference to improve the lives of the Rohingya people, and I’m finding the work very rewarding,” Allison said.

Australia Assists is a program funded by the Australian Government.