Heads of IOM, UNHCR and UN-OCHA jointly meet the State Minister for Foreign Affairs

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Head of three UN Agencies, Mr. FilippoGrandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Antonio Vitorino, Director General of International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Mr. Lowcock, Head of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and Emergency Relief Coordinator jointly called on theState Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. ShahriarAlam, M.P. this afternoon. They are currently on a joint visit to Bangladesh on 24-28 April 2019.The delegation is scheduled to pay a visit to Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camps on 25-26 April 2019.

State MInister for Foreign Affairs welcomed the delegation and thanked them for undertaking the visit. The delegation updated the State Minister aboutthe recent development of work of UN Agencies in the Northern Rakhine of Myanmar. The ddelegation opined, though the development is not significant, but the situation is better than before. The visiting guests also informed about the funding status for implementing the Joint Response Plan-2019. The delegation commended Bangladesh’s efforts towards addreessing the basic needs of the Rohingyas and said Bangladesh has dealt with the Rohingya issue in an exemplary way. They said that the visit is intended to express consolidated solidarity to Bangladesh. They also raised the issue of education, training and livilihood opportunities for the Rohingyas in the camps of Cox’s Bazar.

Mr. Alam informed the delegation that the government of Bangladesh has already developed Bhasan Char island to accommodate 1,00,000 Rohingyas. Relocating the Rohingyas to Bhasan Char will help to address the congestion problem in the camps in Cox’s Bazar. The State Minister expressed dissatisfaction at the failure of Myanmar to build confidence among the Rohingyas to return to their homeland. He urged the visiting UN Agency heads to put further efforts to create a conducive environment in Northern Rakhine and also enhance the engagement with Myanmar in building schools, hospitals, mosques and other basic structures for the Rohingyas in their place of return.

The State Minister also reiterated the proposal of creating safe zone in Myanmar propsed by the Hon’ble Prime MInister of Bangladesh in the UN General Assembly and requested the visiting dignitaries to pursue with Myanmar for creating the safe zone.

At the end of the meeting, the State Minister assured full support of Bangladesh to the humanitarian actors working for the Rohingyas and urged the UN Agencies to take effective steps to solve the Rohingya crisis.

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