Generous humane country like Bangladesh shouldn’t be punished: WB
Appreciating Bangladesh's generous support, visiting World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim today said they are insisting that generous humane countries that support refugees should not be punished.
After his meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith at latter's Secretariat office, he said he along with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres are here to express gratitude to the people of Bangladesh and the government for receiving so many refugees.
"We're extremely concerned about the situation of Rohingyas," he said in a statement.
Minister Muhith said it is a critical hour for the nation. "It is critical simply because we have a large burden to share."
He said Bangladesh certainly wants Rohingyas to go back to their country from Bangladesh with dignity and safety. "That is what we want."
Recalling WB's support so far to Bangladesh, the WB chief said it is a very clear indication of the faith that they have on Bangladesh.
Kim said though the WB did little for the refugees in the past, current UN chief's intervention encouraged them to get involved in supporting the countries.
Terming the situation a humanitarian tragedy, he said they need to move on this to make sure that the issue is addressed in a peaceful way.
The WB chief said the WB supports everything the UN is doing to find a solution to Rohingya crisis.
The UN chief and World Bank President will visit Rohingya camps on Monday and assess the severity of the crisis and discuss what more can be done.
The World Bank earlier announced close to half-a-billion dollars in grant-based support to help Bangladesh address the needs of Rohingya refugees in areas such as health, education, water and sanitation, disaster risk management, and social protection.
Reflecting the increasingly protracted nature of the Rohingya crisis, the World Bank Board of Directors approved a $50 million additional grant to an existing Health Sector Support Project in Bangladesh that is the first in a series that could total as much as $480 million.
The health-sector grant includes contributions based on an innovative partnership between the Government of Canada and the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's fund for the poorest countries.
It will help the Rohingya receive maternal, neonatal, infant, child, and adolescent health and nutrition services, as well as reproductive health care and family planning support.
"Bangladesh has shown great leadership in this evolving humanitarian crisis by providing refuge for the Rohingya people. This grant allows the World Bank Group, working in collaboration with the Government of Canada, to support these efforts," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement on Thursday.
"We are deeply moved by the suffering of the Rohingya people and stand ready to help them until they can return home in a safe, voluntary, and dignified manner. At the same time, we are also continuing to support the Bangladeshi people and the host communities, who have shown great generosity by welcoming these refugees."
Since August last year, more than 700,000 Rohingyas have taken shelter from violence in Myanmar in the Cox's Bazar district, making it the world's largest and fastest growing refugee camp, and putting pressure on the environment, existing infrastructure, and social services that were already constrained.