We need to ‘step up to the plate’ and increase support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
UN Secretary- General António Guterres and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim have appealed for greater support and funding for the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh.
António Guterres commented:
“My appeal to the international community is to step up to the plate and to substantially increase the financial support to all those who are in Bangladesh to protect … assist and support the Rohingya refugees”
The pair highlighted how only 26% of the $950 million appeal has been funded so far, which has caused conditions in the camp to worsen.
“It means that we do not have the capacity to provide the kind of basic education that would be necessary…That means that malnutrition is prevailing in the camp, that means that the conditions of water and sanitation are far from being ideal.”
Over 700,000 people are now living in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp have fled Myanmar last August.
The joint visit took place just days after the World Bank announced $500 million in grant-based support to help Bangladesh address health, education, water and sanitation needs.
Save the Children has reported that 70% of Rohingya children in Bangladesh are currently out of school.
Save the Children’s Country Director in Bangladesh, Mark Pierce noted:
“More than 327,000 Rohingya children are currently out of school in Cox’s Bazar. They are being deprived of the right to learn basic skills like reading and writing, which would empower them to build a brighter future for themselves and their families. This is setting an entire generation of children up for a very bleak future”
Save the Children have emphasised that education is a lifesaving intervention that offers hope and opportunity and can alleviate psychological suffering by providing a routine and daily structure.
The charity also warned that of those Rohingya children who do have access to informal learning opportunities in the camps most only attend sessions for a few hours a day and are learning at levels far below their age grade.
There is an urgent need for quality education in the camp Mark Pierce warned:
“As the UN Secretary General, UN high Commissioner for Refugees and President of the World Bank visit the camps today and witness the grim conditions Rohingya children are living in, we urge them to do everything in their power to scale up the provision of quality education in the camps and give children hope for the future”
“We are also urging the Government of Bangladesh to recognise the right of Rohingya refugee children to education, and ensure that they have access to safe, quality and inclusive learning opportunities while they are displaced”
The Rohingya refugee crisis was recently ranked the 7th most neglected displacement crisis of 2017 by the Norwgien Refugee Council.
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Image credit: Save the Children