In an important development, Bangladesh and the United Nations (UN) on Saturday signed a deal, ending a long wait for a much-sought UN engagement at Bhasan Char on the humanitarian response to support the forcible displaced Myanmar nationals known as Rohingyas relocated at the island.
The Government of Bangladesh and the United Nations on Saturday agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) relating to Bhasan Char.
The MoU is a further expression of the Government and people of Bangladesh’s generosity and support toward the Rohingya population until they can return safely and sustainably to Myanmar, as well as a reconfirmation of the UN’s commitment to continue supporting Bangladesh in leading the humanitarian programme for almost 900,000 Rohingya refugees in the country.
The agreement relating to Bhasan Char allows for close cooperation between the Government and the UN on services and activities to the benefit of the increasing numbers of Rohingya refugees living on the island.
These cover key areas of protection, education, skills-training, livelihoods and health, which will help support the refugees to lead decent lives on the island and better prepare them for sustainable return to Myanmar in the future.
The UN response will build upon and complement the humanitarian assistance so far provided by Bangladeshi NGOs on the island.
Prior to signing the MoU, the UN has held discussions with the Rohingya refugee community in Cox’s Bazar, as well as those already on the island, including during the UN visit to Bhasan Char in March 2021, to better understand their needs and views.
The UN encourages the international community to increase its generous support to the humanitarian response in Bangladesh, recognising that the Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Response in Cox’s Bazar is currently less than half funded for this year.
This support should continue until refugees are able to return to Myanmar in a safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable manner, which remains a shared priority of the UN and Government of Bangladesh, as well as the desire of the Rohingya refugees in the country.