UN agencies to raise support funds for Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshis


The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), along with the Bangladeshi government launched the 2022 Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, on Tuesday.

The JRP seek to raise more than US$881 million to support approximately 1.4 million people, including over 918,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char, and around 540,000 Bangladeshis in neighbouring communities.

“Robust and sustained international support is again needed for Rohingya refugees and the Bangladeshi communities generously hosting them,” UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch told journalists during a press briefing in Geneva.

The JRP brings together the activities of 136 partners, 74 of which are Bangladeshi organizations – while also recognizes the significant contributions that the refugees themselves make to the response.

For decades the international community has been supporting the Bangladesh Government as they generously host Rohingya refugees.

However, as global displacement continues to rise, UNHCR and partners emphasized the need to keep the Rohingya situation in the public’s eye – lest it become a forgotten crisis.

“It is, therefore, vital to ensure continued funding and support to meet the needs of refugees and surrounding host communities,” said Mr. Balock.

Given their geography, the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar are especially vulnerable to natural disasters.

This year’s JRP accordingly highlighted the need for enhanced efforts towards disaster risk management and climate change mitigation, including through reforestation and energy interventions.

“The steadfast support from the international community has been, and will be, crucial in delivering lifesaving protection and assistance services for Rohingya refugees,” Mr. Balock said.

“While they are in Bangladesh, it is important that Rohingya refugees are able to live in safety and with dignity, and that they can develop the skills and capacities that could support their sustainable return.”

The UNHCR spokesperson explained that many of the people on the move long to again live in their own country.

“Many Rohingya refugees continue to express their desire to return home when conditions allow. The solutions ultimately lie within Myanmar,” he said.

A military coup which took place in February last year, followed by a brutal crackdown on popular protests, has created a political, economic and “profound” human rights crisis across Myanmar, leaving the country in turmoil, the UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned earlier this month.

Meanwhile, UNHCR and its partners maintain a presence in Rakhine State, to support Myanmar in creating the conditions conducive for the refugees to return.

For the first time, the JRP also included humanitarian activities on Bhasan Char, an island in the Bay of Bengal, to which the Bangladesh Government has relocated over 24,000 Rohingya refugees.

“It is critical to continue to scale up essential humanitarian services on the island, including in the areas of health, protection, nutrition, education, and livelihoods and skills building,” said the UNHCR official. (Source: UN News)