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2 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM

‘UN to put more pressure on Myanmar’

Country like Bangladesh shouldn’t be punished: WB

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres yesterday said they will put more pressure on Myanmar to make them understand what they should do over the Rohingya issue, reports UNB. "We're keeping up pressure on Myanmar...we need to put more pressure on Myanmar to make them understand what they should do over this issue," he said. Antonio Guterres said this when he met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim also met the Prime Minister at the same time. PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting. He said the United Nations and the World Bank will continue their support to Bangladesh over the Rohingya issue.

Guterres mentioned that the international community reiterated their solidarity towards Bangladesh on the issue and appreciated the government of Bangladesh for giving shelter to the Rohingyas.

He noted with satisfaction that the World Bank has come forward to help Bangladesh deal with the Rohingya issue.

The Prime Minister apprised them about the current situation of the Rohingyas and mentioned that these people started entering Bangladesh in 1977.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has given shelter to 1.1 million Rohingyas only on humanitarian ground, and various

services, including healthcare, are being provided to them.

She said the government is preparing an island to relocate around 100,000 Rohingyas where they will get better living condition and livelihood opportunities.

The Prime Minister said the local people of Bangladesh are experiencing adverse impactsas over one million people have taken shelter in Bangladesh. “We’ve to look into their problem as well, and we’re doing that.”

Regarding dialogue between Bangladesh and Myanmar governments to repatriate the Rohingyas, she said both countries signed agreements over the matter. “But, they’re yet to take any action for its implementation,” she added.

Antonio Guterres said the main concern of them is the radicalisation of education system of Rohingyas and emphasised checking this element.

He highly praised the socioeconomic development of Bangladesh, measures taken to counter terrorism and disaster management and steps over dealing with climate change. “Bangladesh is one of the most successful counties in disaster management.”

Mentioning that the cooperation with Bangladesh will continue, he also appreciated Bangladesh’s efforts to establish peace across the globe being the second highest peacekeeper sender.

The UN Secretary General presented a photograph of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman while he was giving his first speech at the UN General Assembly on September 25, 1974 to the Prime Minister.

President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim said development activities and humanitarian issues should be dealt with together and assured the Prime Minister that the cooperation of the World Bank to Bangladesh government will continue.

He mentioned that Bangladesh is the second highest recipient of World Bank loan. “And this shows our faith in your leadership and we’re inspired by your leadership.”

Congratulating Bangladesh’s drive towards graduating from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) status, Jim Yong Kim said he will request the World Bank Board so that Bangladesh could avail of loans at a concessional rate.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the dream of the Father of the Nation was to build a poverty- and hunger-free Bangladesh. “And we’ve made progress...,” he said.

She said the GDP growth in the last fiscal was 7.78 percent, while the electricity production in the country reached 18,000 MW.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM’s Adviser Dr Towfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam were, among others, present during the meeting.

Meanwhile, Appreciating Bangladesh’s generous support, visiting World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim yesterday said they are insisting that generous humane countries that support refugees should not be punished, reports UNB.

After his meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith at latter’s Secretariat office, he said he along with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres are here to express gratitude to the people of Bangladesh and the government for receiving so many refugees.

“We’re extremely concerned about the situation of Rohingyas,” he said in a statement.

Minister Muhith said it is a critical hour for the nation. “It is critical simply because we have a large burden to share.”

He said Bangladesh certainly wants Rohingyas to go back to their country from Bangladesh with dignity and safety. “That is what we want.”

Recalling WB’s support so far to Bangladesh, the WB chief said it is a very clear indication of the faith that they have on Bangladesh.

Kim said though the WB did little for the refugees in the past, current UN chief’s intervention encouraged them to get involved in supporting the countries.

Terming the situation a humanitarian tragedy, he said they need to move on this to make sure that the issue is addressed in a peaceful way.

The WB chief said the WB supports everything the UN is doing to find a solution to Rohingya crisis.

The UN chief and World Bank President will visit Rohingya camps on Monday and assess the severity of the crisis and discuss what more can be done.

The World Bank earlier announced close to half-a-billion dollars in grant-based support to help Bangladesh address the needs of Rohingya refugees in areas such as health, education, water and sanitation, disaster risk management, and social protection.

Reflecting the increasingly protracted nature of the Rohingya crisis, the World Bank Board of Directors approved a $50 million additional grant to an existing Health Sector Support Project in Bangladesh that is the first in a series that could total as much as $480 million.

The health-sector grant includes contributions based on an innovative partnership between the Government of Canada and the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries.

It will help the Rohingya receive maternal, neonatal, infant, child, and adolescent health and nutrition services, as well as reproductive health care and family planning support.

“Bangladesh has shown great leadership in this evolving humanitarian crisis by providing refuge for the Rohingya people. This grant allows the World Bank Group, working in collaboration with the Government of Canada, to support these efforts,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement on Thursday.

“We are deeply moved by the suffering of the Rohingya people and stand ready to help them until they can return home in a safe, voluntary, and dignified manner. At the same time, we are also continuing to support the Bangladeshi people and the host communities, who have shown great generosity by welcoming these refugees.”

Since August last year, more than 700,000 Rohingyas have taken shelter from violence in Myanmar in the Cox’s Bazar district, making it the world’s largest and fastest growing refugee camp, and putting pressure on the environment, existing infrastructure, and social services that were already constrained.


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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