In March of last year, the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) had launched a Joint Response Plan appealing for USD 951 million as humanitarian assistance for the Rohingya refugees. That only a third of that amount has been raised so far is a major cause for concern. We had not expected such poor humanitarian response on the part of the international community at a time when resource-strained Bangladesh has been doing everything in its power to meet the needs of more than a million people.
This decline in financial support for the Rohingya crisis is very alarming as this will severely affect UN agencies' capability to address the myriad of issues that have propped up since the largest influx of Rohingyas into Bangladesh last year. It is impossible for the Bangladesh government to meet the financial requirements singlehandedly. Is Bangladesh expected to take on the dual responsibility of mobilising funds and managing the crisis?
According to the World Food Programme, it takes around USD 800,000 to feed over a million refugees each day. This is just one example of the huge financial burden on Bangladesh. Furthermore, journalists and aid workers have been highlighting the severity of the deplorable conditions in the camps, and issues related to nutrition, health and sanitation, sex trafficking, etc., which cannot be addressed as long as there is a shortage of funds.
Although the UN and some NGOs are continuing to provide aid, foreign aid is quickly drying up, indicating a decline in solidarity with the Rohingyas. We wonder if this is a symptom of compassion fatigue on the part of international donors. We expect the international community to step up and do their part to meet the targeted goal of USD 951 million set by the ISCG. That's the least they can do.