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BD seeks UN’s humanitarian assistance

Published : Tuesday, 2 March, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 204

BD seeks UN’s humanitarian assistance

BD seeks UN’s humanitarian assistance

The foreign minister has recently requested the UN to provide humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas in Bhasan Char, a sanctuary for one lakh Rohingyas where already 10, 000 refugees are residing. He has also explained the UN Secretary General about the measures taken by the government for the relocation. However, apart from housing facilities, hospitals, cyclone shelters, schools, flood protection measures etc have been built there. Moreover, the government has also undertaken initiatives to provide skills development training for the refugees to ensure better livelihoods.

While we appreciate the government's efforts to relocate the Rohingyas to Bhasan Char, we also know that our government alone cannot make it a success. Without assistance of the UN and other international agencies, ensuring safe , hygienic living and livelihoods for the Rohingyas in Bhasan Char will not be possible - the economic burden will also be too much for Bangladesh to bear. Simply the help from various NGO and INGOs will not bring to fruition.

It has been reported that for the past few months there has been a stalemate between the Bangladesh government and the UN over the relocation of Rohingyas to Bhasan Char. The UN and other international agencies have made it clear that they cannot provide humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas on the island before technical assessment of the facility is complete.  Therefore, we think the stand-off between the UN and the government must end in order to ensure a better life for the million plus Rohingyas living in Bangladesh, including those in Bhasan Char. Moreover, Myanmar will have to commence the repatriation process under the new military junta.

We are rather sceptic, whether the new Myanmar military regime would commence the repatriation process at all.   

Since the beginning of the Rohingya crisis erupting in 2017, our government had drawn significant support from the UN agencies who have worked on the ground to help our government deal with the issue.

We now think the UN must work as a catalyst for the Rohingya relocation process. Previously, we have penned editorials to resolve the Rohingya issue by highlighting the UN's role while imposing sanctions on Myanmar. But, the current situation is however different as Myanmar is going through a political crisis. Therefore, we need to think out of the box and draw some strategic plans to address this manmade humanitarian crisis.

We hope both the UN and the Bangladesh government would consider the reality on the ground and jointly work on a long-term solution to put an end to the crisis.

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