The UN refugee agency data, collected through and innovative technology applied for the first time to count Rohingya families in Bangladesh, has showed a worrying statistic that one-third of the Rohingya population is vulnerable.
“In an innovative and revealing family counting exercise, UNHCR teams found that one-third of the families are vulnerable,” UNHCR spokesperson Duniya Aslam Khan told reporters at the regular press briefing in Geneva.
The UN official informed that around 14 percent of the refugees are single mothers holding their families together with little support in harsh camp conditions while others are struggling with serious health problems or disabilities.
A high proportion of elderly people are also at risk, and unaccompanied or separated children, some of them taking care of younger siblings, are also vulnerable.
Children and women have made up more than half of the total population, according to UN News Centre.
The individual biometric registration exercise, conducted by United National High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC), took place in the Kutupalong camp, makeshift and extension areas and Balukhali makeshift areas and is now extending to further south.
More than 100 UNHCR-hired enumerators have so far gathered data on 120,284 families comprising 517,643 Rohingyas.
This emergency registration was made successful thanks to the new data collecting technology.
The geo-tagged data collection device was designed to use GPS even without network coverage, making data consolidation and analysis more efficient.
The barcoded RRRC Family Counting Card has also given a shape to Rohingyas living in Bangladesh in terms of demography and location.
“Because the refugees are still on the move and site zoning is still in progress, the enumerators visit their shelters individually, meaning that refugees do not have to queue to be counted,” Khan explained.