We hope IOM’s latest statistics prompt other countries to step up and play their part
Bangladesh officially hosts the largest number of stateless people in the world, according to a recent report from the International Organization of Migration (IOM).
This finding comes as no surprise. Since 2017, our country has provided shelter to close to a million Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar’s state-sanctioned ethnic cleansing of the minority group.
The fact that the Rohingya influx alone has propelled Bangladesh, in the last two years, to the top of the IOM report, goes to show just how severe and untenable the current state of affairs is.
Worse is the fact that Myanmar has consistently failed to create an environment conducive to the safe and secure repatriation of the Rohingya, leaving their own people to subsist in statelessness in a different country.
There is no denying that, as a nation, we have gone above and beyond the call of duty by providing the Rohingya with not just shelter, but medication, education, and sustenance.
However, it is extremely unfair for Bangladesh to shoulder the burden of a crisis ignited by another nation, especially considering the impact that the crisis is having on our already strained and limited resources -- an example being the rapid deforestation taking place in Cox’s Bazar.
Given the severity of the situation, it would behoove the international community to start making an actual difference vis-a-vis the Rohingya crisis. This can be done by giving Bangladesh more in terms of humanitarian aid, or by taking in some of the refugees currently languishing in the overburdened camps.
Surely, this is a global crisis, and we hope IOM’s latest statistics prompt other countries to step up and play their part.