Susan Waresi:- Last Thursday the international community announced $597 million humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees at a donor’s conference. The conference was co-hosted by the US, EU, UK and UNHCR. Delegates from 50 countries attended the virtual conference. The international community also urged Myanmar to create favourable conditions for the repatriation of Rohingyas.
The US, EU, and the UK announced $200 million, €96 million and £37 million respectively. “In the initial joint response plan for Bangladesh, the budget was $877 million. But the COVID-19 pandemic required additional funding. Therefore, the budget went up to about $1 billion,” said a UN official. In 2020, Bangladesh received less than 50 per cent of the $1 billion required for refugees.
According to a joint statement from the co-hosts of the conference, the international community continues efforts to secure long term solution. Now their focus is on sustainable response planning so that Bangladesh could more effectively support the management of the response to maximize the benefits of both Bangladeshi and Rohingya communities.
“The crisis is affecting the wider region. Rohingyas, especially women and children, are desperately attempting to reach other countries. We thank the governments who are allowing disembarkation. We will continue to provide strong support to the Rohingyas wherever they are in the region,” said Filippo Grandi, UN high commissioner for the refugees.
Anticipating lack of safety and deprivation from their basic rights, no Rohingyas were willing to return to Myanmar.
Grandi said that Myanmar must take steps to address the root causes of the violence and displacement in Rakhine. He stated that Myanmar must provide justice to the victims of human rights violations and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said, “Lack of progress in repatriation in the last three years led to widespread frustrations and hopelessness among the displaced Rohingyas, making them susceptible to trafficking, radicalization, drug dealing and other criminal activities.” He also urged the international community to work sincerely for creating an environment for their repatriation.
When no other country was willing to receive them, Bangladesh opened her doors for the Rohingyas in 2017. Currently, 860,000 Rohingyas are residing in Cox’s Bazar refugee camps, 600,000 in Rakhine state and 150,000 in the other countries in the region.
The situation of the Rohingya refugees remains an acute humanitarian crisis for more than three years.
Source: The Daily Star