REACH’s work in Bangladesh in Mapping the rapid-onset emergency in Cox’s Bazar in the Humanitarian Exchange Magazine.
As the need for aid mounted, humanitarian actors scaled up their life-saving interventions to provide basic services. In-kind distributions, building new emergency infrastructure and strengthening inter agency coordination platforms, were all response priorities. Another was the need for data. First, humanitarian actors had to define and regularly update information on the scale and extent of the crisis. Second, actors had to record and share information on new emergency infrastructure being built by response actors working both within and outside of standard coordination structures. Both tiers of data were key for planning, targeting and implementing an efficient response.
Filling the gaps
REACH arrived in Cox’s Bazar in September, less than a month after the escalation of the crisis. In light of the continuous expansion of the sites and the challenging terrain, REACH collaborated with the UN Operational Satellite Applications Programme to acquire satellite imagery of the border areas of Myanmar and Bangladesh. Using this imagery, the team digitised tens of thousands of shelter footprints.