• Saturday, Nov 23, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:56 am

ADB offers grant to support Rohingya refugees

  • Published at 10:34 pm November 6th, 2017
ADB offers grant to support Rohingya refugees
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has offered to provide a grant to Bangladesh to support the Rohingya refugees if the country seeks financial aid. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Bangladesh Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Monday, Hun Kim, director general of ADB's South Asia Regional Department, said the ADB would extend all-out support to Bangladesh government in order to support the Rohingyas. “The ADB always supports the countries which provide shelter to distressed people,” he added. Since the bank does not usually provide financial aid to any country, they are working on finding a way to do so in Bangladesh's case, he further added. The ADB director general also said the ADB would provide more than $8 billion on credit over the next five years for development projects. Speaking to reporters, Finance Minister Muhith said Bangladesh would definitely seek help from the ADB as it had already asked for help from World Bank. “The World Bank has a special quota for providing support to distressed community, but the ADB does not. We will receive the ADB funds via its normal quota,” the minister added. He further said the ADB would fund projects to support the Rohingya refugees who would not be able to return to their homeland in Myanmar. The meeting, which took place at the finance minister's office in the Secretariat, was also attended by the newly appointed ADB Bangladesh country director, Manmohan Prakash. As of October 31, 2017, over 607,000 Rohingya people have taken refuge in Bangladesh since violent military crackdown was launched on their homeland, the Rakhine state in Myanmar, in August.

'Rohingya issue will have little impact on budget'

Finance Minister Muhith said there would be little impact on the national budget due to the ongoing Rohingya crisis as the majority of the expenditure to support them – i.e. provide food, shelter and basic healthcare – were covered by donation and relief from several other countries and development agencies. He further said the Prime Minister's Office was also providing financial support. “Some ministries and divisions have asked us for funds for the Rohingya people, but that amount is small, ranging between Tk4 crore and Tk10 crore,” he added. He said after he returned from the US after his meeting with the World Bank, he instructed the finance secretary to assess the expense to support the Rohingya people. “Within 15 days, we will have a better idea of what kind of expenditure we are facing,” he added. He further said the World Bank had also conducted its own assessment of the situation.