Declaration of intent on humanitarian aid for the Rohingya in Bhasan Char


The MoU covers key areas such as protection, education, skills, livelihoods and health that will support the return of Rohingyas to Myanmar


October 09, 2021, 6:20 p.m.

Last change: October 9, 2021, 10:14 p.m.

Rohingya refugees sit on wooden benches of a naval ship on their way to Bhasan Char island in Noakhali district, Bangladesh, December 29, 2020. REUTERS / Mohammad Ponir Hossain / File Photo


Rohingya refugees sit on wooden benches of a naval ship on their way to Bhasan Char island in Noakhali district, Bangladesh, December 29, 2020. REUTERS / Mohammad Ponir Hossain / File Photo

The government of Bangladesh and the United Nations (UN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday to create a common protection and policy framework for humanitarian aid for Rohingya in Bhasan Char.

The MoU was signed between the country’s Disaster Management and Aid Ministry and the UNHCR on behalf of UN agencies working on the Rohingya response in Bangladesh at the secretariat in the capital.

The MoU is another expression of the generosity and support of the government and people of Bangladesh towards the Rohingya people until they can safely and sustainably return to Myanmar, according to a UNHCR media release after the signing ceremony.

The MoU is also an endorsement of the United Nations’ commitment to continue to assist Bangladesh in leading the humanitarian program for nearly 900,000 forcibly displaced Rohingyas in the country, it added.

The Bhasan Char agreement enables the government and the United Nations to work closely together on services and activities that benefit the growing number of Rohingyas living on the island.

The MoU covers the key areas of protection, education, qualification, livelihoods and health, which will help to support the refugees to lead a decent life on the island and to better prepare them for a sustainable return to Myanmar in the future.

The United Nations response will build on and complement the humanitarian aid provided so far by Bangladeshi NGOs on the island, the statement said.

Before the MoU was signed, the United Nations held talks with the Rohingya community in Cox’s Bazar and with the people already on the island, including during the UN visit to Bhasan Char in March 2021, to better understand their needs and views to understand.

These talks, as well as talks with government colleagues and Bangladeshi NGOs operating on the island, are expected to continue regularly and provide information on further humanitarian and protective measures on Bhasan Char, the UNHCR said.

The statement said that the UN encourages the international community to increase its generous support for humanitarian aid in Bangladesh and recognizes that the joint Rohingya humanitarian response plan in Cox’s Bazar is currently less than half that for this Year is funded.

This support should continue until refugees can return to Myanmar in a safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable manner, which remains a shared priority of the United Nations and the government of Bangladesh, as well as the desire of Rohingya refugees in the country.

The Bangladesh Navy has implemented the Ashryan-3 on Bhashan Char, an island in the Bay of Bengal, at a cost of Tk 3,100 billion to accommodate 100,000 Rohingyas, while so far almost 20,000 Rohingyas have been relocated from Cox’s Bazar to the island.

A total of 120 brick-built cluster villages and 120 cyclone shelters, facilities for education, hospitals, agriculture and fishing, playgrounds and the presence of law enforcement officers make the island a much better habitat for the Rohingyas than that of Cox’s Bazar Camps.

As of August 25, 2017, Bangladesh is home to over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas in the Cox’s Bazar district, most of them arriving after what the UN called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and other rights groups that have been referred to as “genocide”.

Bangladesh has so far provided the biometric data of the neighbors of 8,30,000 Rohingyas, while the Myanmar authorities have only verified 42,000 of them so far.

However, Myanmar has not brought back a single Rohingya in the past four years, while repatriation attempts have failed twice due to a lack of Rohingya confidence in their security in Rakhine State.

Another 80,000 Rohingyas are to be relocated within 3 months: Enamur

The Minister of State for Disaster Management and Aid, Dr. Md Enamur Rahman said that another 80,000 “Forced Myanmar Citizens” (FDMN) will be relocated to Bhasanchar over the next three months.

“Another 80,000 Rohingyas will be relocated to Bhasanchar over the next three months. With the help of some local and international NGOs, the FDMN relocated to Bhasanchar are being given humanitarian aid, ”he said.

This is what the Minister of State said yesterday as the main guest at the MoU signing ceremony.

Chairman of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Disaster Management and Disaster Relief, Captain ret. AB Tajul Islam, MP spoke on this occasion as a special guest.

Enamur said the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief was building a total of 1,440 houses and 120 cyclone shelters to house a lakh of forcibly displaced Myanmar citizens under the Asrayan, as recommended by the Bhasanchar Subcommittee on Technology and Protection formed in 2018. has built -3 project.

From December 3, 2020 to April 4, 2021, around 18,846 “forcibly displaced Myanmar citizens” from 4,724 families were relocated to Bhasanchar, he added.


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