Nearly $600m pledged for Rohingyas, host community
BSS, Dhaka :
The international community has pledged some 600 million US dollars to provide strong support for displaced and stateless Rohingya people, wherever they are in Bangladesh, Myanmar and other countries in the region.
"The international community has demonstrated its strong commitment to the humanitarian response with the announcement of funding today," said the co-host of a virtual donor conference in a joint closing announcement on Thursday night.
It said the fresh pledged amount will expand the nearly US$ 636 million in humanitarian assistance already committed so far in 2020 under the Bangladesh Joint Response Plan and the Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan.
"We will continue to provide strong support for displaced and stateless Rohingya people," said the co-host- the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) - of the conference on Sustaining Support for the Rohingya Refugee Response.
Since the outbreak of violence in August 2017, a total of nearly USD 2.8 billion has been provided to the Rohingya crisis response in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and the region.
This is in addition to USD 700 million in development commitments to Bangladesh from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
"The voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees and others internally displaced to their places of origin or of their own choosing in Myanmar is the comprehensive solution that we seek along with Rohingya people themselves," the statement read.
To resolve the crisis, it said the Myanmar government must take steps to address the root causes of the violence and displacement in Rakhine state and create the conditions for voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable returns.
This includes providing a pathway to citizenship and freedom of movement for Rohingya, guided by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State's recommendations and encouraged and supported by countries in the region, it added.
"Myanmar must provide justice for the victims of human rights abuses and ensure that those responsible are held accountable," said the statement.
Expressing gratitude to the Bangladesh people for their continued support and hosting of Rohingya refugees, the co-host countries assured their continued donor commitment to support the humanitarian needs of Rohingyas throughout the region, especially in Bangladesh.
"We will continue to work together to maintain international attention on the Rohingya crisis and to shift from short-term critical interventions to a more sustained and stable support," they said.
Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam with all donor agencies also joined the virtual conference.
While leading the Bangladesh side at the conference, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam reminding the international community that Rohingyas took refuse here on temporary basis and they must return to their country of origin soon as Bangladesh is not in a position to swallow this burden any more.
Expressing his dismay that the "role of the United Nations in saving humanity from hell is also not visible in its policy actions towards Myanmar", Alam urged all stakeholders to put their best efforts to help Rohingyas return to their home in Myanmar.