A total of $882 million or about Tk7,126 crore will be required as funding until June 2018 for the Rohingyas who have taken refuge in Bangladesh after facing brutal military persecution in Myanmar, says the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
The independent think tank on Saturday disclosed at a dialogue the estimated 10-month fund requirement based on an estimation of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for six months.
With a latest additional requirement of $83.7 million, UNHCR’s total need for the Rohingyas until February next year now stands at $517.78 million, said CPD quoting UN website.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) earlier had estimated $434 million to be the total funding requirement for 1.2 million Rohingyas until February.
Based on these numbers, CPD added, expenditure required per Rohingya for September, 2017-June, 2018 period would be $795 or Tk5,939.
The latest requirement estimated by CPD is equivalent to 1.8% of Bangladesh’s national budget for FY2017-18, 0.3% of the GDP and 2.5% of the total revenue of the country.
The estimations were made in a keynote presented by CPD Executive Director Fahmida Khatun at the dialogue, titled “Addressing Rohingya Crisis: Options for Bangladesh,” organised at a Dhaka hotel on Saturday.
Fahmida said the Rohingya crisis has hit the locals in Cox’s Bazar as a social disaster, affecting population growth, and causing health and sanitation problems.
“The total forest area in Cox's Bazar is nearly three million acres and around 3,500 acres of it has already been lost due to the Rohingya influx,” she said.
Since August 25, following a military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, about 625,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh, according to the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission.
At Saturday's dialogue, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said the government has drafted a proposal for an agreement with Myanmar to repatriate the Rohingyas.
“We are taking all kind of preparations to solve the crisis and peaceful efforts are still underway. The foreign minister will meet Myanmar officials on November 23 in this regard.”
He also emphasised political support received from the international community, rather than the economic ones, to solve the crisis. “Myanmar is our neighbour and we need to resolve this peacefully, maintaining our friendship.
CPD Chairman Prof Rehman Sobhan stressed on organising an international conference to find out ways on how to solve the Rohingya crisis. “The Rohingyas need to be sent back to Myanmar voluntarily, not forcefully.”
He said the crisis had hit Bangladesh’s economy, society and environment most.