No excuse for declining international assistance for Rohingya
No excuse for declining international assistance for Rohingya

Dhaka’s repeated calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears

Bangladesh’s indignation at not getting the necessary international support in hosting the 1.1 million Rohingya refugees stranded in the country hardly needs justification. Bangladesh expressed its frustration again on Friday at the United Nations General Assembly when the Bangladesh ambassador to the UN rightfully urged for increased international attention.

Unfortunately, the international inaction has continued on both fronts that are necessary for a solution: One is more engagement to force Myanmar authorities to enable peaceful repatriation, and the second is supporting Bangladesh to host the huge number of refugees in the country.

While it is easy to see how enforcing international laws in Myanmar is in limbo, there is no acceptable reason for the international community failing to do its part in providing assistance to support the hosting of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

Dhaka’s repeated calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears. And it is doubly frustrating when economic and other assistance are stalled, given there is no complex modality of international law at play in this particular context, which is the case for solving the root cause of the crisis.

Of the $1 billion humanitarian assistance needed approximately for Rohingya refugees, only $366 million was committed or disbursed by July 2021. Just on Bhashan Char alone, Bangladesh has spent Tk3,100 crore (over $36 million).

Not only is the disbursement of the humanitarian fund far off the mark, but it has also declined by at least 38% compared to 2017-19. Bangladesh, as a result, has found itself having to increase funds to take care of the refugees.

The international community must not stall with respect to providing the humanitarian assistance that the Rohingya refugees need and it must also step up to support Bangladesh to facilitate the successful repatriation of the Rohingya.

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