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UN needs $950m to assist Rohingyas, locals in Cox's Bazar

  • Published at 01:04 pm March 6th, 2018
  • Last updated at 11:12 pm March 6th, 2018
UN needs $950m to assist Rohingyas, locals in Cox's Bazar
The United Nations (UN) has said it needs $950m to continue providing essential services to the one million Rohingya refugees and 300,000 locals of Cox’s Bazar until the end of the year. A UN joint response plan due to be disclosed next week is expected to give a detailed breakdown of the projected costs for the services, which include food, shelter, education and other rehabilitation facilities. A UN delegation outlined the plan to the Bangladesh government during a meeting of the National Task Force on the Rohingyas on Monday. “The $950m will be spent for 12 different purposes like food, shelter, education and to fight the risk of flood and rain,” said Cox’s Bazar Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam, who attended the meeting. “The presence of the one million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar has hampered the lives of the 300,000 locals (so) the fund will also be utilized to support them.” The UN had previously budgeted for $434 million to assist 900,000 Rohingyas and the locals for the six months to February 2018. For the first time, the new joint plan will provide for category-based allocation of the funds, such as food and shelter. “The new plan is being made taking into consideration the risks these people [Rohingyas] face,” an official said. “Issues like landslides and shelter for the Rohingyas during the monsoon have also been taken into consideration. We hope that they [the UN] will take our opinion into account and announce it [response plan] in Geneva.” Separately, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide will arrive in Dhaka today at the start of a week-long visit. Adama Dieng will visit the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar and hold meetings with Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Law Minister Anisul Huq, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, and Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque.

Mass exodus

The Bangladesh government’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) has stated that nearly 700,000 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh from August 25, 2017 until March 6, 2018. The Rohingya mass exodus was triggered by a brutal military campaign perpetrated by the Myanmar Army and local Moghs. The Myanmar military’s oppression was described as “ethnic cleansing” by the UN. The hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees are currently living in the two upazilas of Cox’s Bazar, and have joined the Rohingyas who had been living in Cox’s Bazar district for years. Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingyas as citizens and forces many of them to live in squalid camps in apartheid-like condition. In November 2017, Dhaka and Naypyidaw signed an agreement to begin repatriating the Rohingyas from January, but the process has stalled. This article was first published on bangaltribune.com