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UN delegation visits Bhasan Char

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 2 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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CHATTOGRAM: A joint delegation of two UN agencies went to visit Bhasan Char in Noakhali as part of their initial work to start humanitarian aid activities for Rohingya people there.

The 21-member delegation includes officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Program (WFP).

The delegation went to Bhasan Char by a naval ship from Patenga of Chattogram on Monday morning. They will stay there for a few days, said the sources.

Although, the UN initially opposed the relocation of Rohingyas from Cox's Bazar, they recently agreed to start work for the persecuted people in Bhasan Char.

UNHCR also signed a formal agreement with the Bangladesh government on October 9 in this regard. Disaster Management and Relief Ministry Secretary Md Mohsin earlier said, “Humanitarian assistance will be provided in Bhasan Char like it was provided in Cox's Bazar through the UN agencies. Humanitarian assistance will be conducted there under the supervision of the civil administration.”

The Bangladesh government and UNHCR will jointly make arrangement for food and nutrition, drinking water, sanitation, medical care, non-formal education and livelihoods of the Rohingyas in Bhasan Char.

The Bangladesh government will look after the safety of the Rohingyas, the UN, partner organizations and local and foreign NGO workers there.

The Bhasan Char Project Deputy Director Commander Anwarul Kabir said that a 21-member team of the UNHCR and WFP left for Bhasan Char by a naval ship around 9:30am on Monday and reached there by noon.

The delegation will initially be there for three days, he said, adding that they will work on how the supply chain will work and their offices, storage and humanitarian activities will be conducted.

The members of the delegation will also talk to the Rohingyas, he said.

A number of vehicles were also taken by the ship to facilitate movement of the delegation at the island, he added.

More than four lakh Rohingyas, who fled persecution in Myanmar, had been living in the Cox's Bazar refugee camps. In 2017, another seven lakh Rohingyas joined them.

The United Nations was working with 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar.

However, to reduce the pressure on Cox's Bazar, the Bangladesh government took the initiative to take a part of the Rohingyas to the Bhasan Char in Noakhali.

In the last one and a half years, some 18,000 Rohingyas were taken to the Bhasan Char in phases.