Rohingya Crisis: India invited to join Oct 22 donor conf


Intl desk, Oct 20: India has reiterated its commitment to sustainable repatriation of Rohingyas saying they have received an invitation to join the donor conference to be held on Thursday.

The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will co-host the donor conference to promote support for Rohingya refugees and host countries.

“We’re committed to ensuring an early, safe and sustainable repatriation of the displaced persons to the Rakhine State in Myanmar,” said Anurag Srivastava, Official Spokesperson at Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

He said they have committed resources to both Bangladesh and Myanmar to that end.

Responding to a question, he recently said their position is very clear on the issue of displaced persons from Rakhine State and as a neighbor of both Bangladesh and Myanmar, India has highest stakes in this issue.

During the the 6th Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting held on September 29, Bangladesh expressed hope that as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, India would play a more meaningful role for a lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis, including their early repatriation to Myanmar in a safe and sustainable manner.

The United States said they are proud to stand with the UK, the EU, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as partners in leading this call to sustain the international crisis response to assist Rohingya refugees and other displaced people, as well as strengthen investment in affected host communities.

The conference is seen as an opportunity for the co-hosts to reiterate that any sustainable solution to this crisis must include the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees and other displaced people to their homes or to a place of their choosing.

There is a significant funding gap in the international response to the crisis this year, with contributions to date covering less than half of what is needed.

The 2020 Joint Response Plan (JRP) for Rohingya humanitarian crisis is so far 48.2 percent funded and remains vital to sustain life-saving preparedness and response efforts for extreme weather events, which have become more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic, says the United Nations.

The co-hosts will call on the international community to provide much needed funding to assist Rohingya refugees, host communities, and internally displaced people in Myanmar.

At a virtual conference, they will urge countries to increase assistance for Rohingya refugees, host communities, and internally displaced people in Myanmar, more than three years since the latest phase of the crisis began in August 2017.

The UN has appealed for more than $1 billion in aid to meet the humanitarian needs of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh this year, but so far less than half has been contributed.

This leaves a significant funding gap, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Repatriation attempts were failed twice in November 2018 and August 2019 amid Rohingyas’ “lack of trust” on the Myanmar government.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation deal on November 23, 2017.

On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on “Physical Arrangement”, which was supposed to facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland.