ISCG lauds Bangladesh’s generosity marking 3-yr of largest Rohingya exodus

Rohingya refugees gather to mark the second anniversary of the exodus at the Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Rafiqur Rahman

The Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) partners- UN agencies and NGOs – working for Rohingyas have lauded generosity of Bangladesh people for their humanitarian gesture as they have been sheltering over million forcibly displaced Myanmar people in their land.

“This day is an important opportunity to honor the strength and resilience of the Rohingyas and the generosity of host communities, raise awareness of the scale of the continuing humanitarian crisis, and reflect on the future of the humanitarian response,” ISCG said in a statement commemorating the three-year-mark of the largest exodus of Rohingyas to Bangladesh.

Since August 25 in 2017, Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived there after a military crackdown by Myanmar, which the UN called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and other rights groups dubbed as “genocide”.

In the last three years, not a single Rohingya went back home yet although Myanmar agreed to take them back. “Bangladeshi people in the villages where the refugees first arrived were the true ‘first responders’ when refugees arrived in Bangladesh in August 2017, sharing the food they had, opening their homes to provide shelter and showing desperate, traumatized people that humanity still existed,” it said.

UN agencies and over 130 national and international NGOs have supported Bangladesh government to provide life-saving assistance and protection to both displaced people and vulnerable local community, who continue to bear the socio-economic and environmental impact of the influx.

“Today and every day, the humanitarian community stands in solidarity with the Rohingya refugees and the Bangladeshi communities hosting them and remains committed to staying and delivering until the refugees are able to secure solutions through safe, dignified, sustainable and voluntary return to Myanmar,” said ISCG.

At the three-year mark, the statement said the ISCG partners in Bangladesh remain focused on meeting the critical needs of the Rohingya refugees and the vulnerable people in the Bangladeshi communities who have hosted them so generously.

The 2020 Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, which includes new needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and totals more than US$1 billion, is one of the largest humanitarian appeals worldwide this year, it said.

So far, ISCG said funding commitments have met only 44 percent of the total requirements, creating a risk that critical assistance and services will not reach the people who need it.

“We look to the donor communities to continue demonstrating solidarity with the Rohingya refugees and Bangladesh by providing generous, flexible and sustainable support,” read the statement.

Over the past three years, it said, Rohingya refugees and humanitarian responders have met many challenges while the Bangladesh government and humanitarian partners are now facing together the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 3,000 refugee volunteers have been trained to conduct awareness sessions aimed at giving people the information they need to protect themselves from COVID-19 and connect them to critical services.

:BSS