The Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has suggested that Bangladesh receive only interest-free grants, not loans, from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to meet basic needs of the Rohingya people who have taken shelter in the country to escape violence in Myanmar.
“According to media reports, the World Bank and ADB have proposed providing financial assistance to Bangladesh to fulfil needs of the Rohingya refugees. However, it is still unclear whether the assistance will be provided in the form of loans or interest-free grants,” TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It will be very regrettable, inhumane and unacceptable if the ADB – taking advantage of the human catastrophe – tries to impose a debt on Bangladesh in the name of assistance,” he added.
The anti-graft watchdog said the government should reinforce its diplomatic manoeuvres for interest–free grants from international donors for the persecuted people.
In addition to 400,000 Rohingya already living in Bangladesh, 607,000 more people have crossed over to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August 24, after ethnic conflicts in Rakhine sparked the most rapid human exodus since the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
Iftekharuzzaman said the onus to take care of these people lies not only with Bangladesh, but also with Myanmar and the international community.
Any assistance from donor countries or donor agencies in this regard must be interest-free, he stressed.
The TIB chief alleged that the Myanmar army felt encouraged to carry out such atrocities against the Rohingya people as they have long been enjoying interest–driven support from the global powers.
Bangladesh does not have the capacity to bear the burden of the homeless people alone, and there is no logic behind imposing it on the country either, he said, adding that the ADB as a donor agency of Myanmar should play its part in reparation of the Rohingya from Bangladesh.