UN chief hears ‘heartbreaking accounts’ of suffering from Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh; urges international community to ‘step up support’

UNFPA Bangladesh/Allison Joyce Secretary-General António Guterres (2nd right), World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim (center), UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem (right) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi (left) interact with Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres visited Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh on Monday, declaring that “nothing could have prepared me for the scale of the crisis and extent of suffering” he witnessed there.

Speaking to the press in Cox’s Bazar, the region in southern Bangladesh where nearly one million Rohingya are living under constant threat of flash-floods and landslides, Mr. Guterres said that the violence they had faced at home in Myanmar since last August, was probably one of the most “tragic stories” of “systematic violation” of human rights ever recorded.

“It is unacceptable that these people who have suffered so much in Myanmar now have to live in the difficult circumstances that these camps inevitably represent,” he added.

The UN chief also praised the Government and people of Bangladesh for “generously” receiving the refugees and for providing them with basic protection and support.

At the same time, he also called on the international community to “translate” its solidarity into sufficient support for the minority-Rohingya still living in Myanmar and those displaced across the border in Bangladesh.

“My appeal to the international community is to step up to the plate and to substantially increase the financial support to all those working in Bangladesh to protect and assist the Rohingya refugees,” urged Mr. Guterres.

He also said that the UN will continue to insist on the voluntary “right of return” of the Rohingya to their homes in Myanmar, but “only when the conditions are there for them to live in full dignity.”

Mr. Guterres arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday early morning local time, to draw attention to the plight of the Rohingya refugees as well as to impress the need on the international community to do more to support them.

The UN chief was accompanied by the World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, which on Friday announced nearly $500 million in grant-based support to help Bangladesh address the needs of refugees.

Speaking alongside Mr. Guterres at the press conference, Mr. Kim called on everyone to “stand in solidarity” with the Rohingya so that they can live a life of dignity, as well as with “their demand for such basic things that just about everyone else in the world enjoys.”

“We as the World Bank Group are committed to doing more and more to make sure that the Rohingya … get some justice,” he declared.

The complex Rohingya refugee crisis erupted last August following attacks on remote police outposts by armed groups alleged to belong to the community. These were followed by systematic counter attacks against the minority, mainly Muslim, Rohingya, which human rights groups, including senior UN officials, have said amounted to ethnic cleansing.

In the weeks that followed, over 700,000 Rohingya – the majority of them children, women and the elderly – fled their homes for safely in Bangladesh, with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Prior to the latest exodus, well over 200,000 Rohingya refugees were sheltering in Bangladesh as a result of earlier displacements.

UN agencies and humanitarian partners have been on the ground, responding to the needs of both the refugees and communities hosting them. However, their efforts have often been overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the crisis and extreme weather.

One of the most pressing challenges is the monsoon season which brings torrential rains as well as the threat of cyclones, landslides and flash-floods.

“The heavy rains and their impact are already compounding the suffering of the refugees, even as they try to rebuild their lives,” said Natalia Kanem, the Executive Director of UN Population Fund (UNFPA), who was part of the Secretary-General’s delegation.

She also applauded the support extended by the host communities.

We pledge to continue to do all we can to provide life-saving services for women and girls within the refugee population as well as the host communities who have been so generous in welcoming the Rohingya people,” added Dr. Kanem.

In addition to the weather, severe lack of resources has also hampered the humanitarian response. A Joint Response Plan, launched by the UN in March, urging $951 million to provide life-saving assistance the refugees and host communities remains only 18 per cent funded.

Against this backdrop, the support announced by the World Bank will help improve the conditions and step up the assistance from a “purely humanitarian and day-to-day to medium-term and developmental” response, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who was also in Cox’s Bazar as part of the high-level delegation.

“We are really counting on these additional resources, and perhaps more resources that the Secretary-General and President of the World Bank will be able to mobilize in the future, to stabilize the conditions and create durable solutions,” said the UNHCR chief.

Alongside UNFPA and UNHCR, the whole of the UN system remains engaged in ensuring refugees and host communities have access to much needed aid and protection.

On the ground in Cox’s Bazar, the humanitarian response is being coordinated by the Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG), which is led by the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Other agencies, such as the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) are taking the lead in the protection of children and emergency nutrition, respectively.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights:the role of medical students

COP21 Breaking News: China has promised to cut emissions from its coal power plants by 60% by 2020

EU Commission spends billions without achieving targets

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

The vital role played by logistics during humanitarian crises

Will CETA be implemented after eight long years or it will be vetoed by the EU citizen?

A new global platform to unleash entrepreneurs on the world’s toughest problems

EP launches Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism on anniversary of her murder

EU citizens want more competences for the EU to deal with crises like COVID-19

COP25: ‘Signals of hope’ multiplying in face of global climate crisis, insists UN chief Guterres

Canada needs to increase foreign aid flows in line with its renewed engagement

Data show EU Economy in a stubbornly subdued state

Why are so few women buying into Bitcoin?

3 cognitive biases perpetuating racism at work – and how to overcome them

The EU will always have a stable partner in Montenegro, says President Đukanović

The jobs forecast is unsettled. It’s time for a reskilling revolution

This one small change could transform education for millions

Google prepares to final EU judgement over Android antitrust case

Greferendum: the biggest political gaffe in western modern history to tear Europe apart? #Grexit #Graccident

6 young leaders who are improving the state of the world on International Youth Day

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

Oslo leads the way in ‘Breathe Life’ campaign for cleaner cities in climate change era

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

London is becoming the world’s first National Park City

1 in 7 people would choose not to fly because of climate change

Libyan national conference postponed, nearly 500,000 children at ‘direct risk’ from fighting around Tripoli

Industrial clusters using green hydrogen can drive clean energy transition in Europe and China

UN mobilizes in Rohingya camps to support babies born of rape; young mothers face stigma

The crucial need to prioritise palliative care in Universal Health Care

Could 2021 be a turning point for forests and climate change?

$675 million appeal to stop coronavirus in its tracks, as deaths rise

What wealth managers can learn from family dynamics

How’s Life? reveals improvements in well-being but persistent inequalities

The challenge of maintaining interest in Primary Health Care in medical students

Antitrust: Commission imposes interim measures on Broadcom in TV and modem chipset markets

Heart attacks and strokes are more common on high pollution days, data shows

Governments can fight corruption by joining the digital payment revolution

These are the benefits of learning a second language

Tax crimes: MEPs want EU financial police force and financial intelligence unit

State aid: Commission approves € 1.6 billion Polish scheme to compensate companies for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak and provide liquidity support

Science is ‘key’ to pushing forward the 2030 Agenda, UN development forum told

Greece to stay in the euro area but the cost to its people remains elusive

India’s future as a world power depends on 4 key relationships

Trade MEPs promise thorough scrutiny of the EU-UK agreement

How Asia could be the winner in the US and China’s Belt and Road race

Africa’s shrinking lake shows the impact of climate change on women and indigenous people

Quarantine: A mental health guide for every mood

European Commission kicks off major EU trade policy review

New Eurobarometer survey shows: The majority of Europeans think the EU should propose additional measures to address air quality problems

This mobile laundry gives homeless people free showers and washes their clothes

Italy’s dilemma after Merkel-Hollande agreed loose banking union

EU budget: Commission proposes major funding increase for stronger borders and migration

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 – is it time for a new approach?

UN policewoman recognized for ‘speaking up and speaking out’ on behalf of the vulnerable

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

Afghanistan: UN envoy urges further extension of ceasefire with Taliban, as Eid ul-Fitr gets underway

The European reaction to the neo-fascist wind

Computer skills are crucial for children – in lockdown and in life

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s