Rohingyas In Bhasan Char: Dhaka seeks UN assistance | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 27, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:51 AM, February 27, 2021

Rohingyas In Bhasan Char: Dhaka seeks UN assistance

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has requested the UN to provide humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas in Bhasan Char where a housing facility has been developed for one lakh Rohingyas.

Bangladesh's Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, in a statement, yesterday said, "The foreign minister explained the [UN] Secretary General of the measures taken by the Government in Bhasan Char and requested the UN's support for humanitarian assistance there for the Rohingyas."

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The government of Bangladesh built a planned housing facility with Tk 3,100 crores in Bhasan Char that includes hospitals, cyclone shelters, school facilities, high flood protection embankment, while other projects are undergoing to create livelihood options for the Rohingyas.

Starting from December last year until now, more than 10,000 Rohingyas were relocated to the island in Noakhali.

The government says it planned relocating the Rohingyas to Bhashan Char to ease congestion, cut crime rates, and save the environment in the Cox's Bazar camps where about a million Rohingyas reside.

The UN has sought to send a technical team for assessment of the facility, but that has not been done yet.

Bhasan Char has not yet been under the Joint Response Plan, a yearly budgeting for the Rohingyas, prepared by the UN and other international agencies.

A UN official and two western diplomats recently said they cannot provide humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas in Bhashan Char before technical assessment of the facility.

Momen, who is currently visiting the USA, during a virtual meeting with Gueterres on Thursday, discussed coronavirus pandemic, climate change and Rohingya issue.

Guterres lauded Bangladesh for sheltering the Rohingyas, tackling of Covid-19 and agreed with Momen that Covid-19 vaccination should be treated as "global public good".

Foreign Minister Momen said Bangladesh would continue to work together with UN to achieve climate ambition and build resilience in preparation for the COP 26 in Glasgow this year.

In response, Guterres promised pursuing the donors to allocate 50 percent of proposed climate funds for adaptation strategies.

Foreign Minister requested the UN Secretary General to use his offices to convince development partners and international financial institutions to incentives the graduating countries [from LDC] with new support mechanisms even after graduation.

Antonio Guterres observed that graduation should not be considered a technocratic issue measured only by GDP, instead a multidimensional vulnerability index may be used while considering this.

"Graduation should not be punished rather rewarded," he told Foreign Minister Momen.

The minister invited Guterres to participate the twin celebration of birth centenary of the father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh's independence.

Meanwhile, in a video statement at the high-level segment of the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), Momen said the Council should emerge as a bastion to defend human rights following the principles of universality, impartiality and non-selectivity.

Foreign Minister said the vision of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman continues to inspire Bangladesh to promote and protect the human rights of all.

"The country, under the bold leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, remains fully committed to the rule of law, justice, and gender equality, freedom of expression and the rights of all including minorities, women, children, persons with disabilities," he said.

Momen told the HRC session that Bangladesh provided temporary shelter to the Rohingyas from its commitment to human rights, but that they must return to Myanmar.


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