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US, Japan, Australian envoys reiterate support for Rohingyas

A delegation, including envoys of the United States (US), Australian and Japan, visited Rohingyas camps in Cox’s Bazar to reiterate their unwavering support for Bangladesh’s humanitarian aid towards persecuted nationals of Myanmar.

During the March 3 and March 4 visit, the delegation also visited a disaster preparedness project, food programs, a learning center, a health facility, and spoke with community health volunteers about their role in the COVID-19 response in the Rohingya camps and host communities, a press release issued by US embassy said here today.

The latest visit marks a year since the first cases of coronavirus were reported in Bangladesh and the first since the October 2020 Rohingya donour conference, which raised nearly $600 million in additional relief funds for Rohingya refugees and host communities.

Since the outbreak of violence in Myanmar in 2017, the international community has cooperated to assist in the crisis.

In that time, Australia has provided over $240 million in humanitarian assistance to Rohingya and host communities in Cox’s Bazar; Japan has contributed $140 million; and the United States has responded with assistance of $1.2 billion to address those affected, including host communities in Bangladesh.

Delegation members met with courageous volunteers who combated the pandemic by distributing vital information about preventative measures with residents in the largest camps.

The envoys also visited the Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Isolation and Treatment Centre to understand how COVID treatments were managed in the camps.

The Delegation also met with Bangladesh government officials and officials from the Inter-Sector Coordination Group, the WFP, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organization for Migration, the UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, UNHCR, International Organization for Migration (IOM), and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Ambassador Miller said they continue to work with international organizations to encourage Myanmar to create the conditions that allow for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of Rohingyas.

“We strongly support all those calling on the Myanmar military to restore power to the democratically elected government, release all those who have been unjustly detained, and cease attacks on journalists, activists, and others. The military must exercise maximum restraint and refrain from additional violence,” he added.

Japanese Ambassador Ito said they made the visit with an intention to further promote our support for the Bangladesh government and to strengthen cooperation with international organizations and NGOs.

“Japan will work towards early repatriation of the displaced people, while continuing humanitarian assistance in Cox’s Bazaar, as finding lasting solutions of this crisis is conducive to our pursuit of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” he said.

Australian High Commissioner Bruer reiterated their strong support for Bangladesh hosting displaced Rohingya.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)