UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has accepted the European Union's contribution of €3 million to support the continued protection and humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees living on Bhasan Char.
The announcement was made at a ceremony with Ylva Johansson, EU commissioner for Home Affairs, who is on a two-day visit to Bangladesh, and Ita Schuette, head of UNHCR in Cox's Bazar, in the presence of Md Enamur Rahman, state minister of Disaster Management and Relief, said a press release.
"This contribution from the European Union will enable us to provide protection and humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees on Bhasan Char, for them to live in safety and with dignity, and to participate in a meaningful life until a durable solution is achieved," said Ita Schuette.
"As the United Nations is committed to provide protection and life-saving assistance to the Rohingya refugees on Bhasan Char, complementing the project led by the Government of Bangladesh, the sustained and generous support of the European Union remains invaluable," added Schuette.
"I am very impressed by the Bangladeshi Government and people's continued hospitality to the Rohingya refugees. Monumental work has been done by the Government of Bangladesh. Much as the European Union has this year hosted 4 million Ukrainians under direct threat, Bangladesh has also been standing up to help those people on its borders who are victims of persecutions and violence. It shows that the EU and Bangladesh are partners in principles as well as practice," said Ylva Johansson.
"I'm very happy to know that European Union is giving €3 million for the forcefully displaced Rohingya people as humanitarian assistance in Bhasan char. The European Union is always a good partner of Bangladesh. I'm really grateful to them for their timeworthy humanitarian cooperation. I think this would strengthen our relationship with the European Union," concluded Md Enamur Rahman.
According to the media release, the contribution from the European Union will support key interventions to ensure refugees, in particular children and vulnerable people, are protected from sexual and gender-based violence or sexual exploitation and abuse, and have access to adequate response mechanisms. Refugees will also benefit from the provision of essential health services, including psychosocial support, and programmes for the prevention of acute malnutrition. It will also increase the refugees' access to information and accountability mechanisms to ensure that relocations to Bhasan Char are and remain voluntary.
The EU remains one of UNHCR's essential partners and largest donors globally, and provides key support to the Rohingya response in Bangladesh.
More than five years after being forced to flee violence and atrocities in Myanmar, some 950,000 Rohingya refugees are currently hosted in Bangladesh, in densely populated camps in Cox's Bazar, with 28,000 refugees residing on Bhasan Char, an island project established and led by the Government of Bangladesh to host Rohingya refugees to address the overcrowding in Cox's Bazar camps.