Tuesday 15 June 2021 - 9:39:07 am

UNHCR, aid partners call for renewed and strong support for Rohingya refugees


GENEVA, 14th May, 2021 (WAM) -- Ahead of next Tuesday’s (18 May) donor conference and launch of the 2021 Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency is calling for renewed international commitment, support and solidarity for Rohingya refugees.

The 2021 JRP brings together the efforts of the Government of Bangladesh, and 134 UN agencies and NGO partners to target almost 1.4 million people this year. The US$943 million plan seeks to meet the needs of more than 880,000 Rohingya refugees and 472,000 Bangladeshis in the surrounding host communities in Cox’s Bazar District, the UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic, said at a press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Most Rohingya refugees, some 740,000, fled violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in 2017.

With the refugee crisis in its fourth year, Bangladesh needs robust and sustained international support to ensure the safety and wellbeing of stateless Rohingya refugees, he said, adding that this must not become a forgotten crisis. "Both Rohingya refugees and Bangladesh, having generously hosted them for decades, must see the world standing with them," he noted.

Adding to the complexity of this crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded vulnerabilities for refugees and host communities alike. "To date, the Government of Bangladesh, with the support of the humanitarian community, has effectively managed the COVID-19 response and the spread of the disease in the Rohingya camps and surrounding areas, though the trajectory of the virus remains unpredictable," Mahecic said.

Last year, the United Nations appealed for more than US$1 billion to meet the needs of the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar District. At the end of 2020, this appeal was just 59.4% funded.

WAM/MOHD AAMIR