Civil society for allowing Rohingyas to engage in meaningful work in camps


Civil society members at a webinar have called for allowing Rohingyas to engage in meaningful work in Cox’s Bazar camps.

A collective plan should also be devised in order to cope with the reduced foreign aid for the refugees, they told the webinar titled “Humanitarian Response to Forcefully Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMN)” organised by Cox’s Bazar Civil Society and NGO Forum (CCNF), a network of 60 local organizations, on Wednesday.

They also asked for initiating efforts for the regeneration of the nature in the camps, especially through banning plastic use and stopping the use of ground water.

Shireen Huq of Naripokka chaired the webinar, while M Tariqul Islam Director General NGO Affairs Bureau was the chief guest.

Johannes van der Klaauw, Country Representative of UNHCR, Abdusattar Eosev, Country Representative of IoM, Sheila Gurdum, WFP Cox’s Bazar office chief, Dilruba Haider from UN Women, and Jahangir Kabir Chowdury, Chairman of Rajapalong Union of Ukhiya participated in the event as guests.

The webinar was moderated by Abu Morshed Chowdhury, ED, PHALS, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury and Zahangir Alam of COAST.

Maheen Chowdhury of Save the Children, Mahadi Mahmud of Norwegian Refugee Council, Nayeem Gowhar Warha of Disaster Forum, Asif Munier Migration and Refugee Expert, Sheuly Sharma of Jago Nari and Helal Uddin of Agrajatra spoke at the webinar.

Additional Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mr. Shamsuddoha and Additional Deputy Commissioner Mr. Nashim also spoke at the event.

KM Tariqul Islam, Director General NGO Affairs Bureau, said, aid for Rohinga response is in decline due to the global crisis. Therefore, the government and donors should find out pragmatic ways to attract global donors.

Arifur Rahman of YPSA gave the keynote presentation, where the key demands were transparency of aid spending, monitoring and technical assistance.

Shireen Huq as the chair of the webinar urged the government to announce a plan and redouble on global campaign on repatriation.

Nayeem Gowhar Warha urged the government to consider signing the Geneva Convention on Refugees, as the nation was a refugee during 1971, and now the country is facilitating Rohingya refugees.

Ashis Damle of Oxfam requests INGOs to initiate a global campaign so that there will be early repatriation and there will be consistent attention to Rohingya issues.

Dilruba Haider of UNWomen said that Rohingya women in the camps now want to participate in the response management, they organize themselves against violence against women.

Mr. Asif Munier said there should be documentation of good work and its process, especially to facilitate knowledge transfer to the local humanitarian workers.

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