OIC seeks support for Rohingyas

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Five years later, Rohingyas in Rakhine State still lack freedom of movement and other basic rights such as access to adequate food, health care and education…reports Asian Lite News

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has paid tribute to the government and people of Bangladesh for their efforts to provide protection, hospitality and assistance to the Rohingya refugees who have been living in Bangladesh for the past five years.

August 25 marked five years since the start of the massive refugee influx of Rohingya people and other communities from Myanmar’s Rakhine State into Bangladesh.

The OIC paid tribute to the international support provided, including from the member states, for the refugees.

In 2017, Myanmar’s military began carrying out violent operations against the Rohingya population in the northern part of Rakhine State, which resulted in grave crimes under international law and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

Five years later, Rohingyas in Rakhine State still lack freedom of movement and other basic rights such as access to adequate food, health care and education.

This anniversary was a reminder that the crimes committed against the Rohingya require accountability, the OIC said.

It reiterated its firm support for the Rohingya people and called on the international community to stand firm with them in their plight, and to redouble efforts to protect their human rights, including their right to full citizenship, and to ensure favorable conditions for the safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of all Rohingya refugees and internally displaced persons to their homeland.

The OIC expressed the hope that the recent ruling of the International Court of Justice to dismiss the preliminary objections of Myanmar would contribute to mobilizing effective international action to provide more support for the Rohingya people and contribute to finding a solution to their suffering.

Dhaka, UN seek to raise $881m

Bangladesh and UN agencies yesterday presented their Joint Response Plan 2022, seeking to raise $881 million in humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas and the Bangladeshi host communities.

This is the first time the JRP sought $100 million for the Roingyas in Bhasan Char, where the government has set up a housing facility at the cost of $360 million for one lakh Roingyas.

So far, about 26,000 refugees have been relocated there.

The JRP 2022, virtually launched in Geneva, will support approximately 1.4 million people — 918,000 Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char, and 540,000 Bangladeshis in neighbouring communities.

Presented by UNHCR Director of External Relations Dominique Hyde, the JRP 2022 wants to make sure that the Rohingya situation does not become a forgotten crisis.

“It is therefore vital to ensure continued funding and support to meet the needs of the refugees and surrounding host communities.”

Refugees in the Kutupalong Rohingya Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, in July, 2018. (Photo: UN/IANS)

The JRP highlights the need for enhanced efforts towards disaster risk management and climate change mitigation, including through reforestation and energy interventions.

Hyde said the solutions to the Rohingya crisis ultimately lie within Myanmar, but steadfast support from the international community is crucial to delivering lifesaving protection and assistance services for the refugees until they can return to Myanmar.

At the launch, Shahriar Alam, state minister for foreign affairs, said the international community, including the UN, must intensify their focus on the permanent solution — the sustainable return and reintegration of Rohingyas in Myanmar.

“We must not forget the environmental and ecological aspects in and around the camp areas. No project under the JRP should further deteriorate the landscape and ecosystem, rather projects should be there to restore and improve the situation.

“We urge the international community to do everything possible to arrange their [the Rohingya refugees’] early, voluntary and sustainable repatriation,” he said.

Myanmar authorities are yet to demonstrate genuine political will to resolve the crisis, he said, calling for the international community to create an environment conducive to their return in Rakhine state.

“The international community must not shy away from their responsibility to resolve the crisis and relieve Bangladesh from the burden.”

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