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UN, partners seek $852.4m to support Rohingyas, local hosts

Conflict in Myanmar escalates: UNHCR

Migration 2024-03-13, 10:49pm


Rohingya Camp in Ukhiya

Dhaka, Mar 13 - UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, with other humanitarian partners, on Wednesday called on the international community to redouble efforts to protect and assist Rohingya refugees and their host communities.

Bangladesh is generously hosting over a million Rohingyas, most of whom fled Myanmar seven years ago.

The 2024 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis was launched in Geneva on Wednesday under the leadership of the Bangladeshi authorities.

The funding appeal seeks $852.4 million to reach some 1.35 million people including Rohingya refugees and host communities.

The plan and related financial needs is being presented to donors in Geneva by Masud Bin Momen, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh; Mohammad Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Principal Secretary to the Bangladesh Prime Minister; Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees; and Amy Pope, Director General of the International Organization for Migration.

International solidarity with Bangladesh and refugee protection is needed more than ever as the conflict in Myanmar escalates, said the UN agency.

The Joint Response Plan brought together 117 partners, nearly half of them Bangladeshi organizations.

It aimed to help some 1 million Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and on the island of Bhasan Char, and 346,000 from host communities, with food, shelter, health care, access to drinkable water, protection services, education and livelihood opportunities and skills development.

Some 95 per cent of Rohingya households in Bangladesh are vulnerable and remain dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Sustained assistance is critically and urgently needed, particularly by women and children, who make up more than 75 per cent of the targeted refugee population, and face heightened risks of abuse, exploitation and gender-based violence.

More than half of the refugees in the camps are under 18, languishing amidst limited opportunities for education, skills-building and livelihoods.

The government of Bangladesh, local communities and aid agencies need sustained international support to respond to increasing needs as this humanitarian crisis remains largely out of the international spotlight.

Underfunding in previous years has had serious implications as Rohingya women, children and men -- who fled to Bangladesh to escape violence and persecution in Myanmar -- struggle to meet basic needs and their plight risks slipping into obscurity.

Rohingya refugees remain in limbo relying on humanitarian assistance to survive in crowded camps plagued by insecurity and natural disasters, said the UN refugee agency.

The international community must continue funding life-saving and life-sustaining assistance to refugees in the camps, investing in education, skills training and livelihood opportunities.

This is a lifeline to refugees struggling to meet their basic needs and supplement limited humanitarian assistance.

Steps are also needed to ensure pledges made at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva in December are fulfilled.

These included enhancing self-reliance for Rohingya to provide hope and reduce the number of dangerous boat journeys taken. - UNB