WB to raise funds for Rohingya refugees, says visiting chief
Published : Monday, 2 July, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 274
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Sunday said the WB is going to raise funds for the Rohingyas refugees.
He said "We are doing everything we can to ensure that the resources come in the form of grants."
WB President met Finance Minister AMA Muhith at his Secretariat office in the capital on Sunday morning.
Kim said that he and Secretary General Guterres were greatly concerned by the Rohingya situation.
The President said the WB supports everything the UN is doing to find a solution to the Rohingya crisis.
In a three-day visit, Kim and the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres are in the Bangladesh to see the Rohingya refugees who fled their country since a military crackdown on them in August 2017.
The UN chief and WB President will visit Rohingya camps on Monday and assess the severity of the crisis and discuss what more can be done.
The WB earlier announced close to half-a-billion dollars in grant-based support to help Bangladesh address the needs of Rohingya refugees in areas such as health, education, water and sanitation, disaster risk management, and social protection.
He said he along with UN Secretary General is here to express gratitude to the people of Bangladesh and the government for receiving so many refugees.
He also thanked the people and the government of Bangladesh for receiving the refugees in a 'peaceful' and 'humane' manner.
The World Bank had begun to work on refugee situations in recent years because of the intervention of Secretary General Guterres when he was the UN high commissioner for refugees, Kim said.
"About five years ago he reached out to me and he said the WB has to get involved because some of these situations last so long that they are not just refugee situations, they are development situations," he said. He said, "It was the vision of Guterres five years ago that brought us into the picture." Kim highlighted the US$480 million in grants the WB had recently announced to support the Rohingyas.
"We insist that generous, humane countries that support refugees should not be punished for that. That's why, on the insistence of the Finance Minister, Muhith, the citizens and the Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, we are doing everything we can to ensure that the resources come in the form of grants," he added.
The WB is also supportive of the UN agreements on the Rohingya issue, he added, reiterating that the organisation would do all it could to help Bangladesh.
"And once again I want to say to the people of Bangladesh that the rest of the world is very grateful for your humane reception, but we also know that there is more to do - there is more work to do, there are more services to provide - and we are here to do just that."
It will help the Rohingyas receive maternal, neonatal, infant, child, and adolescent health and nutrition services, as well as reproductive health care and family planning support. "Bangladesh has shown great leadership in this evolving humanitarian crisis by providing refuge for the Rohingya people.
This grant allows the World Bank Group, working in collaboration with the government of Canada, to support these efforts," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement on Thursday.
"We are deeply moved by the suffering of the Rohingya people and stand ready to help them until they can return home in a safe, voluntary and dignified manner. "At the same time, we are also continuing to support the Bangladeshi people and the host communities, who have shown great generosity by welcoming these refugees," he added. The WB President has reiterated the $3 billion in development loans the international organisation is providing Bangladesh with.
"The amount is the second largest among all its clients," he added.
Finance Minister Muhith said it is a critical hour for the nation. "It is critical simply because we have a large burden to share."
He said Bangladesh certainly wants Rohingyas to go back to their country from Bangladesh with dignity and safety. "That is what we want."
Recalling WB's support so far to Bangladesh, the WB chief said it is a very clear indication of the faith that they have on Bangladesh. Minister Muhith thanked Kim for his visit in the country during this 'though period'.
"Once, we had to take refuge in other countries. Therefore we have taken in the Rohingyas with open arms," Muhith said. "But, we want them to go back to their country with dignity and safety and there we want the support of the international community in a big way," the Minister said. Finance Minister Muhith thanked Kim for his visit, saying it was a great pleasure that the visit came at this 'critical hour' for the nation. "It's simply very critical because this country has had the advantage of being refugees in other countries and we can never forget it. Therefore, we have taken in the refugees with open arms," he said.