UN expert says aid programs for Rohingya refugees ‘woefully underfunded’

Singapore, Apr 28 (EFE).- A UN expert Friday said the humanitarian programs for a million Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh were “woefully underfunded,” resulting in cutbacks to critical projects.

“I am asking every member state of the United Nations to consider what resources can be redirected to assistance for the Rohingya,” Thomas Andrews, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, told a news conference in Japan.

Andrews was on a 10-day trip to Japan to meet government representatives, UN agencies, human rights organizations, Japanese companies, and members of the Myanmar diaspora.

“Humanitarian programs for Rohingya people are awfully underfunded, leading to cuts in live-saving programs,” Andrew said.

The UN expert said the World Food Program had to cut rations for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh by 17 percent because of a shortage of funds in March.

Andrews said the refugees in Bangladesh camps were “by and large not allowed to work and their movements are very restricted.”

“They are almost completely dependent on these food rations. Even before these cuts were imposed, food rations for the Rohingya were insufficient and the situation for Rohingya refugees was dire.”

programsHe pointed out that over 40 percent of Rohingya children had stunted growth, and over half were anemic.

He said that UN officials informed him that food rations for the Rohingya in the Bangladesh camps would likely need to be cut by an additional 20 percent because of a severe lack of funding.

“This will reduce food rations for each individual in the camps to $0.27 per day. Try surviving on $0.27 per day.”

Andrews warned that hundreds of thousands might need to be dropped from the program entirely.

“Leaving the Rohingya refugees — already victims of genocidal attacks and decades of persecution—to face starvation and yet more violence is unconscionable.”

He said the food ration cuts and the suffering it would cause “are a stain on the conscience of the international community.”

Bangladesh houses nearly one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, out of which around 774,00 arrived after the Myanmar military’s campaign of persecution and violence in 2017, which the UN classified as an example of ethnic cleansing and possible genocide.

According to NGOs and UN agencies, aid is crucial to provide food, shelter, medical care, clean water, protection, and education to 1.47 million people, including 495,000 Bangladeshis affected by the migration crisis. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button