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In the shadow of COVID-19 outbreak, UNFPA reaches displaced women and girls in Northern Rakhine for Dignity Kits distribution.

Buthidaung, Myanmar – Escalation of armed clashes in Rakhine continues to displace many people away from their home. People and families are on the run and their lives and rights are challenged. Among them, women and girls are the most vulnerable during displacement from one place to another. Their dignities and basic needs are often overlooked. When COVID-19 pandemic strikes Myanmar like many other countries in the world, the needs to provide hygiene supplies for women and girls become more and more crucial than ever. 

UNFPA, as part of its humanitarian assistance, distributed more than 3,000 dignity kits to displaced women and girls from Buthidaung township of Rakhine State since 2019 through different funding sources. Thanks to the support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT-Australia), UNFPA’s dignity kits are being adapted to COVID-19 response by adding items of soaps, sanitizers and mobile phone card. Therefore, the kits not only restore the dignity of displaced women and girls and also improve their personal hygiene to prevent COVID-19 outbreak and make it that much easier to avail phone-based services for GBV.

“Restoring dignity empowers the displaced women and girls. Having the dignity kits provided by UNFPA makes women and girls feel more confident and safe. Carrying the kits on their way back, they bring not only basic items they need but also the confidence to take the steps to overcome the challenges they face,” said Dr. Myintzu Aye, UNFPA Programme Analyst, who participated in the distribution at the IDP camps in Northern Rakhine.