Difficult to set a timeline for Rohingya return: UNHCR | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 29, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:39 AM, November 29, 2019

Difficult to set a timeline for Rohingya return: UNHCR

The UN Refugee Agency yesterday said it is extremely difficult to set a timeline for creation of conducive environment for the return of Rohingyas.

The UNHCR called on the international community to continue its support to Bangladesh and the humanitarian response while, in parallel, working with the Myanmar government to support the country in creating conditions conducive for Rohingyas’ sustainable return.

“It’s extremely difficult to set a timeline… There are too many factors,” UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner Kelly T Clements told reporters at a media interaction in a Dhaka hotel in the evening.

Clements, who concluded a four-day visit, praised continued generosity of Bangladesh and encouraged international solidarity for solutions.

She highlighted the importance of UNHCR and partner agencies’ continued work with refugees in Bangladesh to help them develop skills and capacities, which will in the future support their return and reintegration into Myanmar.

While in Cox’s Bazar, Clements met local officials to discuss the ongoing operational response and opportunities to further aid Bangladeshi communities generously hosting refugees.

She also met groups of refugees, including women and youths, to discuss their hopes and aspirations for the future and ways UNHCR could further support them.

In Dhaka, Clements met senior officials from the ministries for foreign affairs and disaster management and relief, and the Prime Minister’s Office, thanking them for Bangladesh’s continued generosity.

Going into 2020, she highlighted UNHCR’s strong continued commitment to supporting Bangladesh’s leadership for the humanitarian response, the need to ensure the necessary operational space for all partners, as well as the UN’s readiness to continue to constructively engage with the government on Bhasan Char.

This visit, which follows her last in December 2017, allowed Clements to take stock of significant progress made and of challenges which remain in the Rohingya refugee response, including the impact on host communities.

Much progress was visible throughout the visit of both Nayapara and Kutupalong refugee settlements, including significant measures to mitigate the effects of the monsoon season, efforts of Rohingya community volunteers to respond to the needs of their own communities, and the near completion of UNHCR’s joint registration exercise with the government of Bangladesh, which has to date registered more than 800,000 people.

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