IOM and government partners inaugurate host community project

International Organization for Migration (IOM) has inaugurated a shelter improvement and vocational programme in a remote fishing village in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar.

Under the programme, a small community, located alongside the Naf River and extremely vulnerable to flooding, cyclones and extreme weather, has received shelter upgrades and business skills training.

The programme follows a fishing ban that placed many members of the predominantly Hindu village out of work, according to a press release .

Teknaf Upazilla Nirbahi Officer Muhammad Saiful Islam was present at the ceremony held on Tuesday afternoon and welcomed the IOM initiative.

“The government is committed to helping the local fishing community along with its partners in the humanitarian community. We welcome this positive cooperation that is benefitting local Bangladeshis,” he said.

IOM Deputy Chief of Mission Manuel Pereira said, “This is part of our growing commitment to the Bangladeshi host community. It’s a commitment that has spanned over 20 years and is growing as IOM increases its projects in and around Cox’s Bazar. Over next year IOM will continue to support this and other efforts with our partners.”

After the ceremony, the chief guest handed over the keys to the beneficiaries and visited the shelters, along with IOM and partner organizations high officials.

The support programme includes:

Shelter upgrades to reduce risks from cyclones, flooding and other extreme weather. A total of 29 shelters were upgraded and handed over to the community. Four more are under construction and another will be constructed.

Bamboo weaving skills development for about 20 villagers. Beneficiaries are taught to weave bamboo mats that are used for shelter walls and roofing.

Training staff and volunteers in risk-informed shelter upgrade and maintenance for cyclones and other severe weather.