Rohingya population increased to 1.2m in four years

Rohingya refugee children at a school in Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhiya on 10 August, 2022AFP

Some 30,000 Rohingya children are being born every year in Bangladesh on average. As such, the number of Rohingya population has increased to more than 1.2 million. In this context, Bangladesh has requested the United Nations (UN) to put emphasis on family planning in the Rohingya camps.

Foreign secretary disclosed this information after the 39th meeting of the National Task Force on Rohingya affairs at his office on Sunday afternoon.

“We have requested the United Nations to stress on the family planning programme among the Rohingya families. They will start work regarding this very soon. A draft of the policy regarding this has been prepared,” said the foreign secretary.

“We have urged them to finalise it soon. Recently the regional coordinator of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) visited Bangladesh. I told him that some 30,000 Rohingya children are being born every year. As a result, the Rohingya population is increasing,” he added.

Asked about the current Rohingya population, Masud Bin Momen said, “We had been saying that about 1.1 million Rohingyas were living in the camps. The Rohingya population has increased by more than 100,000 in the last four years as some 30,000 Rohingya children are born every year.”

According to the figures from the website of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), some 773,972 Rohingyas came to Bangladesh after 25 August, 2017. And the number of registered Rohingyas up to 31 July was 936,733.

Some 87,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh from Rakhine to save their lives in October, 2016. Before that, around 250,000 registered and unregistered Rohigyas were already living in Bangladesh.

Apart from the representatives of different ministries and government agencies, representatives from different agencies of the United Nations, including the UN residential coordinator, were present at the meeting.

On behalf of the United Nations, it was said that small-scale projects of the UN have started to create a supportive environment in Rakhine. Rohingyas have been included in those programmes.

The foreign secretary said, “Some 30,000 Rohingyas have been shifted to Bhasan Char from Cox's Bazar so far. The United Nations has not yet been fully involved in the activities there. Especially, the local private aid agencies providing food for the Rohingyas.

In the meeting on Sunday, the World Food Programme has assured that they will start work at Bhasan Char very soon. Therefore, there will be no food crisis in Bhasan Char until next December-January.

The issue of the education of Rohingya children was also raised in yesterday’s meeting. The United Nations will conduct an education programme in Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char under Myanmar curriculum from KG to ninth grade.