An official with the United Nations said on Monday that Bangladesh shouldn’t have to take care of the more than 1 million Rohingya refugees on its own while UN agencies struggle to feed them. After spending 12 days in Bangladesh, where he saw camps housing refugees from Myanmar, Olivier De Schutter, a U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, issued the remark. According to him, the international community’s response to the migrants’ pleas for aid has been “grossly insufficient.”
About $876 million is needed to support the community for a year, but just 17% of that has been committed to date, he claimed, calling it “scandalous” at a news conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital. It is unfair to expect Bangladesh to bear the cost of hosting the refugees on its alone. De Schutter argued that “these (U.N.) agencies should be much better supported in their work.”
He explained that in May the World Food Program had to cut the value of the food coupons it provides to each refugee from $12 to $10 per month. On June 1st, he stated, it would be decreased to $8. Children in the camps are undernourished, according to De Schutter, “in a context in which food inflation this year was about 8%.” Malnutrition rates will rise. The prevalence of short stature will rise. The kid’s future is in jeopardy if they stay there.
More than a million Muslim Rohingya have sought sanctuary in Bangladesh because they are persecuted in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship and other rights. Beginning in late August 2017, when the Myanmar military launched a “clearance operation” against them in response to attacks by a rebel group, over 700,000 people fled to Bangladesh. Since the military takeover two years ago, the security situation in Myanmar has deteriorated.
Currently, Bangladesh and China are collaborating to begin a trial repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar. An previous U.N. statement confirmed that the organization was aware of the plot but was not involved in it. There will be no forced relocation of refugees to Myanmar, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has pledged. AP
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