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Regional Representation of Unhcr in Bahrain

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Ensuring sound health and proper sanitation mechanism is a global challenge inrefugee camps all over the world. Average levels of water and sanitation provision areacceptable at camp level but many refugee operations are suffering from gaps thatcross-cut these sectors; e.g. typically poor sanitation provision is corresponding with lowper capita availability of water. These ?ndings were con?rmed at household level withtwo household surveys undertaken in Bahrain refugee camps; households reporting acase of Diarrhoea within the previous 24 hours collect on average 26% less water thanthose not reporting any cases. In addition, typically higher levels of morbidity of oneinfectious agent are also re?ected across other infectious agents; this is reinforced bycomparing the relationship between morbidity and nutrition status from selected camps.The importance that hygiene, environmental conditions and local settings have onhealth (both of refugees and also local communities) is underlined.

Interventions toimprove indicators across the water, sanitation, health and nutrition sectors rely not onlyon increased and sustained resources but must entail an integrated approach tosimultaneously tackle short-comings across all these vital sectors. The Regional Representation of UNHCR to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (based inRiyadh) operates remotely in Bahrain. As of 17 July 2016, UNHCR registered 271refugees and 79 asylum-seekers, of which 161 are women, 189 are men and 57 arechildren. While the vast majority of refugees and asylum-seekers in Bahrain are Iraqis,Jordanian, Yemenis, Syrians and Somalis.Decades after WHO and UNHCR first introduced guidelines and standards on waterand sanitation service provision for the people of Bahrain, Bahrain is still struggling tofully meet the minimum emergency standards for water and sanitation provision fordisplaced persons.

All agency guidelines stress that 15 or 20 litres per person per day isthe minimum need in camp situations and that it should be augmented at the firstavailable opportunity though this is often misinterpreted as ‘the estimated populationfigure is to be multiplied by 15 (or less) to give the daily amount of water to be pumped’with pipeline leakages, spillage, economic usage etc. often neglected.Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa said, “It is necessary forgovernments to entrust to the private sector a basic role in planning, financing andcontributing to finding an environment most suitable for living and in the development ofnew infrastructures.” Bahrain aims to bring changes with development programs thatare intact and that have had successful outcomes. Bahrain recognizes the negativeeffects of slums, squatter villages, and refugee camps and acknowledges theseproblems as global issues. Bahrain aims to improve the settlements through financialand government support.

The Kingdom of Bahrain has successfully reduced poverty and has brought social justice through providing pure water, proper sanitation, inclusivehousing policy, housing finance systems and good urban governance.The Royal Charity Organization of Bahrain has funded a library, health center, and aschool for Palestine refugees in Gaza. The UNWRA and The Bahrain Royal Charity Organization have signed an agreement in which Bahrain will finance threereconstruction projects in Gaza. These projects include reconstruction, furnishing, andequipping of health center of the Khan Younis refugee camp, a new library open to thepublic at Al Fakhoura School in Jabalia Camp, and a new preparatory boys school inJabalia. Investing in education is a start. Bahrain encourages the committee to spendmoney wisely investing in children, building schools, buying more books, and addingmore teachers. Children are our hope for the future. What better way to improve theworld by improving and advancing the people who are in it. Actions of UN in Bahrain regarding this matter:

  • Achieve equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.
  • Achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and endopen defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls andthose in vulnerable situations.
  • Substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensuresustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity andsubstantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.
  • Implement integrated water resources management at all levels, includingthrough transboundary cooperation as appropriate.
  • Expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developingcountries in water and sanitation-related activities and programmes, includingwater harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recyclingand reuse technologies.
  • Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving waterand sanitation management.

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Regional Representation of UNHCR in Bahrain. (2018, December 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 28, 2020, from
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