IOM to help relocate Rohingyas to Bhashan Char

IOM to help relocate Rohingyas to Bhashan Char

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has assured the government of providing all sorts of assistance in shifting Rohingyas to Bhasan Char in Noakhali, said a minister.

“Kulupalong camp, located on 3,000 acres of land, is a temporary one. We’ve started works in Bhasan Char… IOM has assured us of providing all sorts of assistance for shifting the camp there,” said Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya on Tuesday.

He said this at a joint briefing after a meeting with IOM Director General William Lacy Swing at a city hotel.

The minister said Bangladesh Navy is working at Bhasan Char to accommodate Rohingyas as per the Prime Minister’s directive.

Noting that a total of 1.5 lakh makeshift tents are needed to be installed for Rohingyas, Maya said 1.10 lakh tents have already been built.

Of these, IOM have set up 46,000 tents, and the remaining 40,000 will be installed by this month, he said.

He also mentioned that IOM provided other relief items, including umbrellas and cookeries.

The IOM Direct General said they discussed what needs to be done to address the situation and decided to strengthen coordination further to deal with the great humanitarian crisis.

“I was impressed in Cox’s Bazar with coordination among the United Nations agencies, the non-government organisations and others, and the coordination with the government. We’ve decided to make sure that coordination is strengthened even further,” Lacy Swing said.

He said the minister is considering carefully his proposal to ensure full transparency and full coordination to tackle the crisis.

The IOM Director General said it is unprecedented influx in recent times as some 5.50 lakh Rohingyas have come across since the August 25 violence in Rakhine state in Myanmar.

“I wish to express sincere and profound gratitude to the Prime Minister, the government, ministers and the people of Bangladesh for the great generosity in keeping the border open and trying to give shelter and assistance to the refugee people,” he said.

Lacy Swing said he will return to his headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland to join a major conference on October 23 next, which will be hosted by Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and he with an effort to try to raise US$ 434 million for the next five to six months to help the Rohnigya refugees.

Replying to a question, he said it is quite clear that Rohingyas are still coming across. “We’ve to prepare for all over there. We’ve to take into consideration how we manage this.”

In reply to a question what should be done to stop the influx of Rohingya, he said this is a political question. “This is a question of trying to reach understanding. We’ve a very good roadmap forwarded by the Commission on Rakhine state, which was chaired by Kofi Annan.”

The IOM Director General said the roadmap can perhaps be a basis to initiate dialogue again for solving the Rohingya crisis.

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