The United Nations (UN) and its NGO partners have planned to seek around $877 million as part of a Joint Response Plan for the displaced Muslim refugees hailing from Rakhine, Myanmar and now live in the camps in Bangladesh.
According to reports, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees also hit out at Myanmar authorities for not ensuring their safe return since their fleeing following what is known globally as "ethnic cleansing".
According to reports, more than 855,000 Rakhine Muslims and over 444,000 people in local communities in Bangladesh are expected to benefit from the 2020 Joint Response Plan, which is now in its third year.
The Joint Response plan of the world agencies allocates most of the money for vital services and assistance, including food, shelter, clean water and sanitation, while also funding health, protection, and education, among others.
“The world must stand by the Rohingya and by the government and people of Bangladesh who continue to host them,” UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi was quoted as saying in an online statement.
The 2020 plan focuses on the well-being of the affected Bangladeshi communities, from public service infrastructure to energy initiatives, while continuing to provide protection for the refugees and life-saving assistance to those in need.
In 2019, the funding programme received 70 percent of its funding target of $650 million.
It may be mentioned here that more than one million Rakhine refugees currently live in Bangladeshi camps bordering Myanmar. More than 700,000 of the refugees had in August, 2017 fled a massive crackdown by the Tatmadaw (military) launched in response to deadly attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.
Many refugees expressed a desire to return to Rakhine but were afraid of discriminative policies and violence. Only around 600 refugees have voluntarily returned so far.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet opined that Myanmar’s policies discriminated against religious and ethnic minorities for over half a century, adding that the government now had a historic opportunity to counteract systematic violations by bringing its people together.
Reports say that the country's 1982 Citizenship Law does not recognise Rakhine Muslims as one of Myanmar's 135 ethnic groups, and only recognises the ethnic Kaman as a Muslim group in Rakhine.
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