UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, celebrated the resilience power of Rohingya refugees on the occasion of World Refugee Day 2021.
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Tahsan Khan visited Cox's Bazar camps and met with refugees to learn about their experiences, which has been particularly hard due to the global coronavirus pandemic, says a press release.
In Cox's Bazar, Rohingya refugees have been "healing" alongside Bangladeshis in the multiple Covid-19 facilities established to serve both populations since the beginning of the pandemic.
World Refugee Day on Sunday also marked the first Anniversary of Cox's Bazar's first Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Sadar District Hospital, established with UNHCR support. The ICU has served more than 660Bangladeshi and Rohingya refugee patients in the past year.
Tahsan inaugurated a new 24-hour laboratory to provide diagnostic services to the patients treated in the ICU.
"This ICU was the first of its kind in Cox's Bazar. In just a year, this facility has saved countless lives. The expansion of the facility to include a laboratory will ensure that more lives can be saved, both amongst the local population but also the refugees. This really is an example to the world," said Tahsan at the inauguration ceremony.
During Tahsan's visit to the Rohingya camps, he met with Rohingya musicians and filmmakers and together performed a song.
He said, "These young filmmakers from Omar's Film School and these talented Rohingya musicians are doing incredible work to shine a light on the Rohingya culture and heritage through music, photography and film. They're also working tirelessly to raise awareness about Covid-19and other health messages. Their energy and enthusiasm is remarkable."
The press release reads, "Until Rohingya refugees can return to Myanmar voluntarily, safely, and sustainably, we will continue to stand with them and to support them to live with dignity while they remain in Bangladesh. We continue to seek expanded education, skills training and livelihoods opportunities, to allow Rohingya refugees to live with purpose while in Bangladesh, and help facilitate their reintegration in Myanmar when they can finally return home, as they aspire to do."
"Bangladesh has shown a positive example to the world, not only in hosting the Rohingya refugee population for almost four years, but also in the national Covid-19 response plan, vaccination program and ensuring essential health services in the camps throughout the pandemic."
Despite the pandemic, the number of people fleeing wars, violence, persecution and human rights violations rose to nearly 82.4 million people in 2020,. This is an unprecedented figure, and while the majority are internally displaced within their own countries, more than 20million refugees have been forced to flee their countries seeking asylum from conflict and persecution in neighbouring countries. Almost 5% of these 20 million refugees are generously hosted by the Government and people of Bangladesh.