Japan, UNICEF sign $5.7M deal to assist Rohingya, local community in Bangladesh

Japan, UNICEF sign $5.7M deal to assist Rohingya, local community in Bangladesh

Project to ensure access to education, water, sanitation, quality child protection services, says UN agency

By Md. Kamruzzaman

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Japan has decided to provide the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with $5.7 million in assistance to support the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh's southern border district of Cox’s Bazar and the remote island of Bhasan Char.

According to a UNICEF statement on Tuesday, an exchange of notes was signed by Japan’s Ambassador to Bangladesh IWAMA Kiminori, and Sheldon Yett, UNICEF representative to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is currently hosting over 1.2 million persecuted Rohingya displaced by a brutal military crackdown in the Rakhine State of Myanmar in August 2017.

To facilitate better living conditions in the congested refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, also the world's largest refugee settlement, the Bangladesh government in phases relocated nearly 30,000 Rohingya to a remote southern island of Bhasan Char in the country's lone sea, the Bay of Bengal, after developing concrete structure there overlooking international concerns.

The project titled "The Project for Integrated Livelihood Support for Displaced Persons from Myanmar and Host Communities in Bhasan Char and Cox's Bazar District" will reach more than 58,000 Rohingya refugees living in Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char camps, and 10,000 people in host communities.

The project aims at strengthening equitable and inclusive access to formal education, equitable access to basic water, sanitation, and hygiene, and access to well-coordinated and gender-responsive quality child protection services, according to the statement.

“The government of Japan has consistently stepped up for Rohingya refugee children and affected host communities since the very start of this crisis. UNICEF is proud of this long-standing partnership with the government of Japan,” the statement quoted Sheldon Yett as saying.

Ambassador Kiminori also expressed hope that the support would improve the living conditions of both Rohingya and host communities.

Since the beginning of the emergency in August 2017, Japan has been a steadfast supporter of the Rohingya refugee response in Bangladesh, contributing over $200 million to UNICEF and other UN agencies as well as NGOs in Bangladesh, the statement added.

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