• Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019
  • Last Update : 09:18 pm

Foreign aid for Rohingyas on the decline

Foreign aid for Rohingyas on the decline
Foreign aid for Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar is gradually declining. Though the United Nations along with a number of international agencies is still continuing aid, the government has to monitor the disbursement operation alone. Sources said currently the government is distributing all relief materials received from public and private organizations and individual levels. KBM Zakir Hossain, district relief and rehabilitation officer of Cox's Bazar, said: “The foreign aid inflows that we received earlier have dwindled now. A number of donor agencies including the UN are still continuing their aid. However, the World Food Programme has said they will no longer continue with their assistance from March. The government alone will have to bear the burden now.” On February 18, the Cox's Bazar district administration submitted a report on relief program management for “displaced Myanmar citizens” to the Cabinet Division and related ministries and offices. According to the report, so far 500,000 tons of rice have been received from the government while Tk20 lakh from the prime minister's relief and welfare fund, Tk30 lakh from the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief have been allocated. Authorities have already distributed Tk50 lakh and 10,000 tons of rice received on behalf of the government. Turkey has sent 34.96 tons of rice, 5.974 tons of lentil, 5,896 litres of oil, 2 tons of salt and 6.372 tons of sugar as relief which have already been disbursed for Rohingyas. Besides one meal consisting of cooked rice, lentil soup and cooked meat are being distributed among 6,000 Rohingyas every day on behalf of Turkey. Indonesia has sent 2,029.98 tons of rice, 1,000 tons of sugar, 13,700 blankets and 100 tents as relief of which most have already been distributed. Some 1,948.98 tons of rice are yet in stock. Morocco has sent 8000.980 tons of rice, 1,000 blankets, 4,320 kgs of milk powder and 20 cartons of medicine for Rohingyas. Rice and milk powder are yet to be distributed. As many as 20,000 litres of oil, 20,000 tons of sugar and 10,000 kg milk powder have been received from Azerbaijan and all of these reliefs are already distributed. Malaysia sent 30,000 tons of rice, 2,460 tons of lentil, 3,474 litres of oil, 2,125 tons of salt, 1,227 tons of sugar, 309 bags of blankets and 685 tents. The blankets and tents have been distributed among the Rohingyas. India has sent 278.92 tons of rice, 55.784 tons of lentil, 62,940 litres of oil, 55.784 tons of salt, 55.784 tons of sugar, 55.784 kg milk powder, all of which have reached the Rohingya refugees. Singapore has sent 24 bags of blanket, 90 tents and 64 cartons of medicine and 465 bags of blanket, 300 tents and materials sent from Iran include 139 cartons of medicine. Italy has sent 10,000 tons of rice, 3.125 tons of lentil, 3,600 litres of oil, 2.500 tons of salt, 1.875 tons of sugar and 54 cartons of medicine. The medicine has been distributed. Dubai has also sent 26.500 tons of dates. The relief materials sent by Saudi Arabia include 850 cartons of blanket, 284 cartons of mattress, 550 tents, 100 cartons of food basket, 100 bags of flour and 100 bags of rice. All of these other than blankets are yet in stock. Canada has sent 200 boxes of blankets and cloth, 340 boxes of winter coats blanket, 1,200 blankets, 100 bags of orange, 1,200 tomato sauce, 1,500 kg pistachio and 6,500 kg rice. The relief materials are still in stock. The report said the relief materials received from different countries are initially stored in a food storage facility in Cox's Bazar and later sent to the relief control centre after determining their nature and demand. Most of the relief materials sent from abroad are still in storage as those received from public and private organizations and individuals are currently being distributed. Meanwhile, 108 NGOs have allotted Tk536.15 crore for Rohingyas, the report further said. The relief materials sent by individuals and organizations across the country are initially kept at the relief control centre at Ukhiya upazila. These materials are later sent to 14 centres assessing the nature and quantity and distributed among Rohingyas every day. Apart from that an account named “humanitarian aid for citizens of Myanmar” has been opened in a local branch of state-owned Sonali Bank Limited. Currently the account has a deposit of Tk4.82 crore. On September 22 last year, the government assigned the army for relief distribution. Besides, the district administration has issued a relief distribution card to each Rohingya family to maintain discipline in the disbursement. On September 16 last year, 15 deputy secretaries and senior assistant secretaries from the Ministry of Public Administration, four executive magistrates and 30 staff from the Chittagong Divisional Commissioner's Office have been assigned for relief distribution in the 14 relief distribution centres including the relief control centre. The secretaries from the Ministry of Public Administration were withdrawn on October 31. The relief distribution program is operated jointly by the officials and staff of the Chittagong Divisional Commissioner's Office and district and upazila administrations and army personnel. This article was first published on banglatribune.com