BD remains engaged with Myanmar for Rohingyas’ return

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Rohingya ethnic minority people going at a temporary makeshift camp after crossing over from Myanmar into the Bangladesh side of the border, near Cox's Bazar's Palongkhali area, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Tens of thousands more people have crossed by boat and on foot into Bangladesh in the last two weeks as they flee violence in western Myanmar.

Desk Report:

As a responsible and responsive nation, Bangladesh remains engaged with Myanmar in good faith to ensure the safe and sustainable return of Rohingyas in addition to providing humanitarian assistance to them, said State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam.

The State Minister was addressing the launching event of ‘Joint Response Plan for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis’ jointly organised by UNHCR, IOM and OCHA in Geneva on Friday.

UN agencies and NGO partners released the 2018 Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, a US$951 million appeal to meet the urgent needs of nearly 1 million Rohingyas and more than 330,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis in the communities hosting them.

State Minister Alam underscored that Myanmar authorities have an obligation due to the bilateral agreements on return to create conducive environment in Rakhine State and the international community, including the UN, has the responsibility to play a role in this regard.

Recalling Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s emphasis on finding a solution in Myanmar where the root of the crisis lies, the State Foreign Minister said the present crisis is indeed the result of systematic persecution, discrimination and exclusionary policies pursued by the Myanmar authorities over decades.

He expressed optimism that the Joint Response Plan would continue to get support and backing from friendly countries, international organisations and financial institutions, according to the Foreign Ministry here.

The State Minister underscored the importance of keeping international community’s focus on the Rohingya crisis for ensuring a comprehensive sustainable solution.

He also separately held a meeting with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

“We’re talking about truly critical needs here both on the part of the Bangladeshi communities who have so generously opened their doors, and of a stateless and refugee population that even prior to this crisis was among the world’s most marginalised and at risk,” said High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

He said the solutions to this crisis lie inside Myanmar, and conditions must be established that will allow refugees to return home. “But today we’re appealing for help with the immediate needs, and these needs are vast.”

UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo said, “Obviously, there’s great appreciation for the generosity with which the response has been funded. But let’s not forget one thing: the biggest donor to this crisis is Bangladesh.”

The Rohingya refugee situation in Cox’s Bazar is an acute humanitarian crisis that needs urgent funding to save lives and provide essential aid, said the IOM.

So far, the emergency response from September 2017 to February 2018 has received 74 per cent of the funding needed (US$321 million of the US$434 million required).
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