Don’t put any extra burden on Bangladesh
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has appealed to the neighbouring countries, including India, to take care of the Rohingyas they are hosting and not to put an additional burden on Bangladesh.
He also made an appeal to the Asean countries plus China, Japan and South Korea to use their influence so that the Rohingyas do not flee to Bangladesh, and Myanmar is encouraged to take back their nationals who fled violence and took shelter in other countries.
At a press conference at a hotel in Dhaka yesterday after wrapping up his five-day visit to Bangladesh, Grandi came up with the call in response to a query from a journalist on illegal entry of a few hundred Rohingyas from India to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh, now sheltering more than a million Rohingyas, has already sent a note verbale to India in this regard.
Grandi said the number of Rohingyas living in other countries are nothing compared to those living in Bangladesh.
"So, Bangladesh needs to be relieved of the burden."
The UN top official visited Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char, and held meetings with the prime minister, foreign minister and ambassadors of the donor countries in Dhaka.
Grandi said there is a risk of humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas declining in the wake of the crises in Ukraine and Afghanistan.
Therefore, he has appealed for sustained and predictable support for Rohingyas and their local host communities in Bangladesh while emphasising the need to maintain refugees' hopes for voluntary return to Myanmar once the situation allows.
"The world must remember the crisis that Rohingya refugees and their hosts have been facing for the last five years. The refugees' lives depend on how the international community responds in caring for them," Grandi said.
He said Bangladesh, which has led in assisting nearly a million refugees, remains a priority partner for UNHCR, but continued international support is crucial to provide life-saving assistance and build hope.
The high commissioner said the solutions to the Rohingya crisis lie within Myanmar. While UNHCR and UNDP continue to work on community projects in Rakhine under a tripartite agreement with Myanmar, initiatives must be scaled up to create conditions for voluntary returns in a just, safe, and sustainable manner.
Grandi said while in Bangladesh, it is important that Rohingya refugees can live in safety and dignity, that they can send their children to school and learn from the Myanmar curriculum, which is being rolled out in the refugee camps.
"Skills development and livelihood activities in Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char are extremely important in allowing the refugees to build peaceful communities, contribute to a safe environment and support their sustainable return."