Tuesday, October 16, 2018 | ePaper

Int`l fund urgently needed for Rohingyas

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PROBLEMS are increasing in the Rohingya refugee camps due to sluggish international financial response on meeting their urgent needs. The situation may deteriorate in the coming months. The financial support and aid by the international community for the Rohingya people staying in Bangladesh was not enough to tackle the situation. It is crucial that we advocate this at the highest level to the international community. 'The humanitarian response has been successful but remains severely underfunded,' said Annika Sandlund, Acting Senior Coordinator for the Rohingya refugee response and Head of the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) in Cox's Bazar on Tuesday.
Only 39 percent of the response was funded, an additional USD 579 million 'is required' to meet the urgent needs of Rohingya refugees and the local host communities until the end of the year, she said. The UN official made the statement as a high-level delegation of ambassadors and senior representatives of Australia, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America visited the camps to gain first-hand knowledge of the critical issues faced by nearly one million refugees.
According to media reports, there were also concerns that funding for critical programmes would end in February 2019, putting life saving services at risk. The food security sector 'still requires US $66 million to support refugees through to March 2019'.
And without this critical funding, essential services might be pared back, compromising the health and wellbeing of this vulnerable population, 80 per cent of whom are women and children. Presently, the Rohingya people are fully dependent on humanitarian assistance with 860,000 of them depending on food aid each month. Apart from food, there are also several difficulties. Of them, the hastily built camps remained extremely congested which makes it difficult to relocate families currently living in landslide and flood risk areas with concerns of protection, health, water and sanitation.
No doubt, there is an urgent need to support the host country, which was the first responder to the crisis by opening its border to the refugees, sharing what little resources it had. We hope, the need of financial support would be properly addressed by the international community.


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