EU urged to raise food support for Rohingya in Bangladesh

EU urged to raise food support for Rohingya in Bangladesh

Bloc announces $3.7M support for refugees, host community in Cox’s Bazar, Bhasan Char

By SM Najmus Sakib

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – The Rohingya refugees living in temporary shelters in southeast Cox’s Bazar coast of Bangladesh Thursday requested the visiting EU delegation to increase their ration as the refugees have been passing through a food crisis.

A 5-member pre-election observation delegation of the EU has been on a 16-day visit to Bangladesh. The team, led by EU’s Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore, visited the refugee camps and met Rohingya on Thursday.

Rohingya refugees have been badly affected by a recent UN cut in food rations, Bangladeshi refugee officials told Anadolu, adding that they too urged the EU visiting team to raise the food support.

On June 1, the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) announced a further cut in food rations for Rohingya refugees to $8 per month, or 27 cents per day, from $10 due to a funding shortfall. In March, rations were cut from $12 to $10 due to a lack of funding support.

Rohingya also shared with the visiting the ordeal they had gone through during a military crackdown in August 2017 by the Myanmar military.

The refugees told the team that though efforts were being made to repatriate them under a pilot project with the mediation of China, a safe environment for Rohingya to return to Rakhine state has not yet been created.

The Rohingya wanted full-fledged citizenship rights before any repatriation to Myanmar, saying they are eager to return in a dignified manner.

Speaking to Anadolu, Bangladesh's Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Mizanur Rahman said being the second largest humanitarian support provider, “we will urge the EU team to increase the food support for the Rohingya.”

There was a scheduled meeting between the refugee officials and the EU delegation, he said.

“We will further request them to pressure Myanmar so that they can ensure a suitable environment in the Rakhine state and start a dignified and voluntary repatriation of Rohingya,” he added.

Meanwhile, the EU announced a fresh contribution of €3.35 million ($3.7 million) through its humanitarian aid department to support UNHCR’s continued protection services and assistance delivery for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh, according to a UNHCR Dhaka statement on Thursday.

Nearly 1.2 million Rohingya live in Bangladesh, the majority of whom fled a brutal military crackdown in Rakhine in August 2017. Most of them are housed in overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazar district, but around 30,000 have been relocated to the island of Bhasan Char since late 2020.

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