Repatriation should get highest priority: speakers
Rohingya repatriation should be the highest priority in the United Nations' Joint Response Plan (JRP) for support of Rohingya people, speakers said at a press conference yesterday.
Demanding an amendment of the JRP in this regard, they said the plan should be a live document, so that it can be updated anytime necessary.
They also demanded the JRP should include transparency and accountability in providing aid to the Rohingya and recognise Bangladesh government's contributions in supporting the forcefully displaced Myanmar nationals.
Cox's Bazar CSO-NGO Forum (CCNF), an alliance of 50 organisations, held the press conference at Jatiya Press Club in the capital yesterday.
Presenting a keynote paper on the occasion, Abu Morshed Chowdhury, a co-chair of CCNF, said the JRP has to be a live document, as there are many issues regarding the Rohingyas which will need to be included or corrected according to the situation.
"In the JRP, repatriation should be the number one priority and there should be a separate chapter on how it can be done," he said.
Bangladesh government has already invested a huge amount of money and resources to provide refuge and support to the Rohingya community, which should be recognised in the JRP, he added.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, another co-chair of CCNF, said support activities for the Rohingya have to be controlled directly from the Prime Minister's Office, and transparency and accountability should be maintained at all levels.
He also recommended inclusion of local communities and public representatives in Cox's Bazar -- where the Rohingya refugee camps are located -- to the aid distribution process.
Several leaders of CCNF, including Barkat Mullah Maruf, Nayeem Gawher Wahra and Mostafa Kamal Akhanda, also spoke at the event.