UN chief's visit to highlight need for more global support for Rohingyas | The Daily Star
10:21 AM, June 29, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:49 AM, June 29, 2018

UN chief's visit to highlight need for more global support for Rohingyas

UN, WB chiefs to visit Rohingya camps Jul 2

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and World Bank (WB) Group President Dr Jim Yong Kim will visit Bangladesh on July 1-2 to see the severity of Rohingya situation and UN agencies' engagement in the camps.

Their visit will highlight the generosity of Bangladesh in hosting the world's largest refugee influx of 2017 and the need of the international community to do more, said Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric while officially announcing the joint visit.

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They will review the situation of the newly arrived Rohingyas in Bangladesh, and assess progress towards a safe, voluntary and dignified return of refugees, in line with international standards.

The Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank Group will be accompanied by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi and the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund Dr Natalia Kanem.

The visit also aims to lay the groundwork for further dialogue with the government of Bangladesh on medium-term planning for the refugee situation and to reiterate the UN and the World Bank's support for finding comprehensive solutions to the situation of the Rohingya people, says the UN.

In Dhaka, the Secretary-General and the World Bank President will have bilateral meetings with Bangladeshi authorities, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

On July 2, they will travel to Cox's Bazar to visit Rohingya refugee communities and humanitarian workers, and advocate for more donor support.

On April 6, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina invited the UN Secretary-General to visit Bangladesh to see for himself the plight of Rohingyas who have taken shelter here amid persecution in Myanmar.

During the telephonic conversation, Sheikh Hasina also sought UN cooperation in implementing the agreement signed between Bangladesh and Myanmar over the Rohingya repatriation.

The World Bank may provide Bangladesh with a grant worth around $200 million to help tackle the ongoing Rohingya crisis for 700,000 Rohingyas who crossed the Bangladesh border from Myanmar's Rakhine state since August 25 last year, according to the sources.

The Secretary-General is expected to return in New York on July 3.

Along with this visit, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer will also arrive in Bangladesh on Saturday and will visit the Rohingya camps on July 1.

The visit comes barely a month after the United Nations Security Council's visit to the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar.

Before his arrival here, the ICRC president was also scheduled to visit Myanmar to see the situation in Rakhine State.

In Bangladesh, he will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina apart from his meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs.

Maurer will meet affected communities and hold meetings with representatives of the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments, the ICRC said.

Access to food, healthcare, education and the necessities of life has been difficult for Rohingyas.

"Humanitarian organisations are doing their best to alleviate the suffering in a difficult circumstance, as the monsoon season has advanced. But 10 months on, too many people are still suffering too much, despite all the talking and all the efforts," said Peter Maurer.

"While the emergency response continues, there must be urgent progress  from humanitarians, development actors, and the authorities for building a sustainable solutions," he said.

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