Bangladesh can't take in more Rohingyas
Argentina Piccin, the newly appointed country representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) presents her credentials to Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at her ministry yesterday. Photo: Courtesy
Dhaka yesterday reaffirmed its position that Bangladesh was already hosting a huge population of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and could not take in more.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said this when newly appointed country representative of the UN refugee agency UNHCR, Stina E Ljungdel, presented her credentials to the former at the foreign ministry, said a press release.
Referring to her recent visit to the Rohingya camps at Kutupalong and Noyapara in Cox's Bazar, the minister expressed concern about the socio-economic, environmental impacts that the country is facing because of these Muslim nationals of Myanmar's Rakhine State.
Around 30,000 Rohingyas are sheltered in those camps.
Experts say the number of the Myanmar refugees living in Bangladesh will be no less than a few lakh.
In her talks to Stina, the foreign minister underlined that a durable solution for refugees and undocumented nationals from Myanmar lay in their voluntary repatriation to Myanmar and establishment of their rights in their motherland.
The government has introduced free education up to class VI, vocational skill training, computer training, and primary and secondary healthcare to prepare the Rohingyas for a productive life when they voluntarily return to their homeland, Dipu Moni said.
Stina thanked Bangladesh's government for hosting a large number of these international refugees for the last 30 years with a highly satisfactory protection regime compared to many places in the world.
She highlighted that Bangladesh's good work and best practices in hosting the refugees from Myanmar quite often go unappreciated when Bangladesh should receive commendations for maintaining peaceful refugee camps and voluntary repatriation of most of them before 2005.
Earlier in the day, Argentina Piccin, the newly appointed country representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), presented her credentials to the foreign minister.
During the meeting, Piccin praised Bangladesh for its extraordinary achievements in realising the health-related Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG) on infant and child mortality and MDG 5 on maternal health.
She assured that Bangladesh would be a priority country for UNFPA's new strategic plan for 2014-2017, through which the country would be allocated substantive budget to advance its health-related development agenda beyond the post-2015 development era.