June 16, 2024

A News report, recently published in this daily on United Nations-  UN plan to cut food aid to the displaced Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladeshhas deeply worried us. This can rightly call into question whether the global organisation’s decision was dictated by justification in a matter having huge implications of over a million people.

Our question is, will such a harsh decision, if implemented not turn the already chaotic situation in the Rohiongya camps from bad to worse? Will not the law and order situation there deteriorate further erupted from food insecurity?

We are in full agreement with many international agencies that this harsh decision of the UN will take to substantial food insecurity and malnutrition among the Rohingya refugees. According to the report, the UN has tried to justify their points based on World Food Production-WFP’s compulsion to cut the value of its food assistance to $10 per person from earlier $12, economic downturn and crisis across the globe. No doubt, under current global situation, partial truth of this argument cannot be ruled out. But the question is, has UN ever thought of the aftermath it will have on Bangladesh? Bangladesh already burdened with over population of 17 million is throwing its weight upon to tackle every situation under the global reality stemmed from the duel brunt of Covid-19 and Ukraine war.

Over a million displaced Rohingyas most of whom are Muslims live in the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. Since a mass exodus in 2017 following a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, the population of Rohingyas is steadily increasing in the camps only emphasizing the needs for more humanitarian aid including food, shelter, security and treatment. And no international stakeholder should forget the support Bangladesh is providing towards displaced Rohingya is purely on humanitarian ground which it is not bound to at all. International stakeholders cannot wash their hands of the matter. The famine that is likely to be faced in the camps by Rohingyas will greatly affect internal order of Bangladesh.

We expect the international community to immediately translate their pledges into reality by scaling up actions against Myanmar. There is no point prolonging the crisis. A fast and comprehensive solution is also important to ensure human rights prevail over all parochial party interests. We need to connect several agencies and work over the decision by the UN to cut aid and provide access of safe passage to humanitarian and relief agencies into Rohingya IDP camps.

 

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