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IMO for continued support for Rohingyas

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 28 July, 2022 12:00 AM
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The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Deputy Director General (DDG) for Operations, Ugochi Daniels, on Wednesday called for continued and flexible support to the displaced Rohingya people and host communities.

After concluding a five-day visit to Bangladesh, she said this. During the visit, she praised the Bangladesh government’s exemplary role in migration management and tackling climate change, reads a press release issued on Wednesday. IOM has been supporting Bangladesh government since 1992 and has had an uninterrupted presence in the country since 1998.

"Bangladesh should be recognised for the important role they play in hosting more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees and their leadership as a ‘champion country’ of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration," said DDG Daniels.

He visited the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, which hosts more than 900,000 Rohingyas who have sought shelter in Bangladesh. Most fled violence in Myanmar nearly five years ago.

"As the government of Bangladesh continues to provide humanitarian assistance, ongoing support from the international community is crucial until the situation in Myanmar allows for the Rohingya people to voluntarily return in a safe and dignified manner," said Daniels.

In Cox’s Bazar, IOM has been providing life-saving assistance, including shelter, health services, water, and other emergency items, to Rohingya people since 2017, according to the release.

During her visit, DDG Daniels viewed environmentally friendly initiatives such as a sustainable solid waste management facility, the world’s largest humanitarian solar-powered water supply system, and a cleaner energy provision system, all designed and implemented by IOM.

She noted that many of these initiatives could be scalable at the national level.

"The protracted nature of this crisis requires us to scale up our creative and innovative response to this unique situation. We need to continue to build the resilience of the refugees to ensure they live with dignity in the face of reduced humanitarian funding," Daniels added.

Earlier this year, IOM issued an appeal for USD 139 million to support 1.4 million refugees and host community members in the country.

IOM in Bangladesh provides technical assistance to the government in various areas of migration management to ensure safe, orderly, and regular migration.

This includes support for improved migration governance; assistance to vulnerable migrants; immigration and border management; migration health; migration data and displacement tracking; and humanitarian assistance.

In Dhaka, DDG Daniels met with State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Enamur Rahman, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen and other diplomats, UN officials, and civil society representatives.

Daniels attended a high-level policy dialogue on "Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change: Towards a Common Narrative and Action Pathway" jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IOM where she met Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and the President of the Inter-Parliamentary UnionSaber Hossain Chowdhury.

During her discussions with government officials and international humanitarian and development actors, she advocated for greater efforts to jointly address climate change and human mobility at national, regional, and global levels.

"Ahead of COP 27, we need to redouble our efforts to ensure the climate change discourse reflects the climate migration nexus, and that this is recognised by the international community," DDG Daniels added.

One in every seven people in Bangladesh will be displaced by climate change by 2050, the World Bank estimates.

While stating on the DDG’s visit to Bangladesh, IOM Bangladesh’s Chief of Mission Abdu Sattor Esoev said, "The high-level visit is very timely and reflects the importance of the Government of Bangladesh to IOM, and the organization’s continued commitment to support people on the move in this country."

Every year, approximately one million Bangladeshis migrate abroad, while the 13 million nationals who have been employed overseas since 1976 contribute to national development through remittances.

Bangladesh is ranked 6th in the world as a migrant-sending country and 8th in remittances received.