May 25, 2024, 2:07 pm


Diplomatic correspondent

Published:
2024-05-15 02:39:42 BdST

US, Norwary announce over $8.2m to support Rohingyas


> Japan contributes $2.6 million

> Sweden, Switzerland express political support

> $852.4 million appealed to support 1.35 million people in Bangladesh including Rohingya 

Following visits to Cox’s Bazar, the United States and Norway have announced a new assistance fund of over $8.2 million to support IOM’s appeal under the 2024 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis.

The United States has announced a contribution of $7.6 million and Norway has announced a contribution of $600,535 (NOK 6.5 million). Besides, Japan has already contributed $2.6 million, according to a statement.

The statement has been issued by the governments of Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

Meanwhile, Sweden and Switzerland have expressed political support for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis.

“As representatives of government donors, we underscore the urgent need for sustained international support to protect and save the lives of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. This crisis is now in its seventh year and the needs of this vulnerable population persist, while funding from the international community dramatically decreases,” said the statement issued on Tuesday.

"In 2023 alone, the Joint Response Plan reported a funding gap of $301 million. This reduction in funding has led to distressing adjustments in assistance packages, including reductions in food rations, exacerbating food insecurity and increasing vulnerability to exploitation."

“We appreciate Bangladesh's dedication to generously hosting one million refugees. However, we must take action to ensure that Rohingya refugees and host communities receive the support and protection they deserve. As we observed during our visit, Rohingyas are bearing the brunt of decreasing humanitarian resources, while nearly half a million Rohingyas will soon be exposed to harsh weather conditions as fire and monsoon season approaches,” it said.

“If insufficient funding continues, over 150,000 would not be able to access essential services, including food, safe drinking water, shelter, protection, and healthcare. In addition, in lieu of Liquid Petroleum Gas, nearly 100,000 households will likely resort to collecting firewood, leading to potentially 14,000 tons of firewood being extracted monthly in the region, leading to deforestation and negative environmental impacts.”

“We can and must reverse this trend,” said the statement.

“Under the leadership of the Government of Bangladesh, lifesaving assistance continues to be delivered to one million Rohingya refugees and some 346,000 Bangladeshis. Efforts to promote self-reliance and livelihood opportunities for Rohingya are crucial to reduce their full aid dependency, for their well-being, and that of their host communities.”

“To contribute to a more sustainable humanitarian response, the international community must support the Joint Response Plan 2024, which aims to raise $852.4 million to support 1.35 million people, including Rohingya refugees and vulnerable Bangladeshis. This represents  $630 per person.”

“In closing, we reaffirm our commitment to supporting Bangladesh and those in need. We continue to support our humanitarian partners who are at the frontlines of implementing the Plan. We call on other governments and partners to join us in providing the necessary funding and assistance to ensure the protection and well-being of those most impacted and to address the root causes of the crisis.”

The Rohingya crisis shall not be forgotten, the statement further added.

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