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12 October, 2017 12:48:01 AM
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Smooth int’l funding is of top importance

Say diplomatic sources
HUMAYUN KABIR BHUIYAN
Smooth int’l funding is of top importance

Smooth and proper international funding to take care hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas, who fled to escape from the brutalities of the Myanmar security forces in the Rakhine State, is of paramount importance to stop worsening the already dire situation in Cox’s Bazar district, according to diplomatic sources.

 

The fund appealed by the United Nation’s organisations working on the ground and pledged by the international community should be made available without any difficulty, they said.

A prospect of problem with regard to looking after the Rohngyas due to lack of fund is the last thing Bangladesh, which is hosting 9 lakh Rohingyas, wants, they added.

The sources further said that the international community must bear in mind that given Bangladesh’s resource constraints, it is not possible for Dhaka to look after the Rohingyas for a long period.

According to the United Nations, as of Monday, 24 per cent of the humanitarian appeal for $434 million is currently funded.

Meanwhile, the global body has admitted that it has no proper information as to what is happening in Rakhine state right now and said that the information it has are all from the Rohingyas who fled into Bangladesh.

“Look, I don’t see any cause for concern right now. But, uninterrupted funding has to be ensured. Otherwise, the dire situation in Cox’s Bazar can be even worse,” said a senior diplomat.

“I hope the international community will live up to its pledge to ensure adequate funding,” he said.

Another diplomat laid emphasis on better coordination between the donors and UN agencies to ensure smooth relief operations.

“At the onset of the crisis when Bangladesh was reluctant to allow the Rohingyas in, there have been repeated calls on Dhaka to open the border. The international community at that time clearly said that it is ready to support Bangladesh, which has its own challenges,” he said.

“The international community must stick to Bangladesh all the way with regard to funding, said another diplomat.

“It is not possible to look after the Rohingyas for a long time. Their long-term presence will deteriorate socioeconomic security and environmental problems. Therefore, the international community has to beef up its efforts to compel Myanmar to take their nationals back ensuring their safety and dignity,” he said.

“You see, we can understand your constraints. You had to import rice this year while you exported rice to Sri Lanka not so long ago. Flood and monsoon also affected you,” said a senior diplomat stationed at the embassy of one of world’s largest economy.

“So, the international community must continue and I hope will continue supporting to look after the people who came from Myanmar,” he said.

Meanwhile, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, told a regular briefing on Monday at the global body’s headquarters in New York that the exodus of Rohingyas to Bangladesh is continuing and that UN has no first hand information on level of violence right now due to lack of access.

“You know, part of the issue that we've had is the lack of access for humanitarian workers in northern Rakhine State and the lack of access for human rights colleagues.  So, we don't have, at this point, first-hand information on the actual situation of conflict, of fighting,” he told a questioner.

“What we are hearing and seeing are, is what those people who are crossing the border are telling UN colleagues and what we've seen they've told UN, human rights organisations.  But we have no first-hand, confirmable information,” he added.

Referring a meeting between the UN secretary-general and the prime minister of the Philippines, when asked what Philippines has to do with Rakhine, the spokesperson said, “Obviously, the ongoing crisis we're seeing in Rakhine state has a regional implication. The Philippines, the foreign minister was also here in, as a representative of the chair of ASEAN, of which Myanmar is a member."

MK

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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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