Voicing grave concern over the growing influx of Rohingya Muslims in Cox’s Bazar, UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have urged the international community to respond immediately to address the humanitarian crisis.
“Around 400,000 new Rohingya refugees entered into the country (Bangladesh) after August 25 last…so the country is facing a severe humanitarian crisis,” UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner (Operations) George Okoth-Obbo told a joint UNHCR-IOM press briefing at a Dhaka hotel on Thursday afternoon.
Okoth-Obbo said on behalf of international community, UNHCR has been trying to suppress the Rohingya crisis, but the international community has to do much more to deal with the worsening situation, reports UNB.
Acknowledging their strong appreciation to the government and the people of Bangladesh for providing shelter to the Rohingya, Okoth-Obbo said a lot still remains to be done to ensure basic needs of the persecuted Muslim minority who managed to escape are met.
IOM Director (Operations and Emergency) Mohammed Abdiker Mohamud said the humanitarian agencies are getting concerned since the number of refugees is still rising. Anywhere between 10,000 to 20,000 are still entering Bangladesh every day.
The response from the international community to deal with Rohingya crisis is not nearly enough, Mohamud admitted.
“It is very hard to address the situation…we want to see more from the international community very quickly, not tomorrow but immediately, to help Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar,” he said.
Mohamud said every agency needs to be engaged in addressing Rohingya crisis while local responders should come forward to do so maintaining coordination with all aid agencies to provide assistance to those who fled from Myanmar.
About the registration of new Rohingyas who came to Bangladesh after fresh military crackdown on Rohingyas in Rakhine State, Okoth-Obbo said they are very delighted that registration process of new Rohingyas is underway and UNHCR will support the registration process.
He also warned that if the Rohingya crisis is not addressed properly, there will be an endemic situation for lack of basic needs, saying that there are so many children, women and tension as well.
Mohamud said although Bangladesh’s private citizens are providing food, clothing and other supports to Rohingyas, such initiatives can never meet the scale of such a crisis.That is why they would like to see state –level interventions from the international community including the multilateral institutions like the UN system to involve themselves more deeply in the effort.