Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

United Nations seeks almost $1 billion for Rohingyas who fled Myanmar

United Nations seeks almost $1 billion for Rohingyas who fled Myanmar

U Myint Thu, Myanmar's permanent secretary for foreign affairs, said that of the list of thousands of returnees submitted by the Bangladesh government, they had deemed only 374 eligible for repatriation.

Myanmar has only been able to verify 374 Rohingya Muslim refugees for possible repatriation from Bangladesh, officials said on Wednesday, blaming their neighbour for not providing the correct information about the refugees.

United Nations agencies and NGO partners have released a 2018 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, with a $951 million appeal to meet the urgent needs of almost 900,000 Rohingya refugees. "These 374 people can be the first repatriation batch". Such criteria are hard to meet for most Rohingya who do not have official documents as they are considered illegal immigrants and remain stateless, despite residing in Burma for generations.

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Even if Myanmar finally allows a process of repatriation to begin, after two stalled efforts in December and January, there are still concerns over the safety of the Rohingya and the conditions they will be returned to. Their report is further backed by satellite imagery, videos and photographs, AP said.

He said "the scorched earth campaign carried out by the Myanmar security forces since August 2017 against the Rohingya population was predictable and preventable".

Abul Kalam, Bangladesh's refugee relief and rehabilitation commissioner, said that despite the small number Myanmar had accepted, "we are still expecting them to take back all of the Rakhine population that are in Bangladesh".

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Responding to pleas that education and health facilities be extended to all Rohingya refugees who are in camps in India, the government said that there have been no reports alleging to the contrary.

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The Myanmar government has repeatedly denied accusations of genocide or ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people, with U Aung Tun Thet, the chief coordinator of the Myanmar government body dedicated to the Rohingya crisis, saying that "we are not involved in anything at all", the New York Times reported.

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"What I can say is the United Nations system and agencies have been very serious about feeding and ensuring basic necessities of the Rohingya", he said.

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