Heads of UN humanitarian agencies to visit Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 23 (APP):Heads of three UN humanitarian agencies helping nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in Bangladesh are flying to Dhaka Wednesday to meet senior government officials, and also visit Cox’s Bazar to meet the refugees, according to a UN spokesman.

In Dhaka, they will hold talks, among others, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister A. K. Abdul Momen “to explore ways the international community can provide further support to Bangladesh as hosts to the Rohingya,” Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.

The three officials are: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi; head of the International Organization for Migration Antonio Vitorino; and UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, Dujarric said.

In Cox’s Bazar, the UN officials will meet refugees who are working as volunteers and observe a joint registration exercise of the UNHCR and government of Bangladesh, Dujarric said. Registration is to provide identity cards to all refugees, ensuring their access to aid services and protection and to establish their right of return to Myanmar.

Most of the Rohingya began fleeing in droves from their Myanmar villages, under attack from militia and vigilante groups as well as Myanmar’s military, in August 2017, joining earlier Myanmar refugees to swell the camps to nearly 1 million people.

Most of the refugees are reluctant to return amid lack of any security arrangements.

The United Nations says refugees have the right to return but they should be allowed to move voluntarily and in dignity to a site where they want to live.