Three top UN officials will jointly visit Bangladesh from April 24 to 26 to highlight the ongoing need for support for the humanitarian needs of almost a million Rohingya refugees, said the UN office in Dhaka yesterday.
The three are Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); António Vitorino, director general of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM); and Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.
UN sources in Dhaka said the dignitaries are expected to arrive in Bangladesh early tomorrow.
The aim of the visit is to highlight the need to continue strong international support for the humanitarian response while solutions for the Rohingyas are pursued, including the creation of conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State that would allow for the voluntary, safe and dignified return of refugees to their homes, said a UN press release.
In the capital, the UN delegation will hold talks with senior government officials, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, to explore ways the international community can provide further support to Bangladesh as hosts to the Rohingyas.
The delegation will then travel to Cox’s Bazar to meet refugees, assess preparations underway ahead of the monsoon season and visit projects, including those involving food distribution and shelters.
They will also meet refugees who are working as volunteers, and observe a UNHCR-government of Bangladesh registration exercise, designed to provide identity cards to all refugees, ensuring their access to aid services and protection as well as establishing their right to return to Myanmar.
After the visit, the delegation will hold a press conference in Cox’s Bazar on April 26, the release added.
On February 15, the UN and its humanitarian partners have appealed for $951 million to meet the urgent needs of nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees and more than 330,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis in the communities hosting them.
But the UN till March 31 received only 16.1 percent ($148.4 million) of the total estimated $920 million fund through the third Joint Response Plan (JRP).