‘Reduce cost of Rohingya relief operations’

A dialogue on Rohingya relief response was held in the city on Saturday -- Photo: Collected
A dialogue on Rohingya relief response was held in the city on Saturday -- Photo: Collected

Aid amounting to $3,284 was received in the past 11 months for each Rohingya family staying in camps in Cox’s Bazar, a civil society gathering was told on Saturday.

Development activists said there is no clue of how much money was spent for meeting the costs of central or field operations and of facilities to staffers hired from outside.

They recommended that the cost of relief response to Rohingya crisis could have come down, had the local non-government organisations, civil society organisations and local government bodies been assigned for the job.

The views were expressed at the dialogue titled “Aid Transparency and Solidarity Approach in Rohingya Response” organised by COAST Trust with support from Oxfam at CIRDAP auditorium.

UN resident coordinator Mia Seppo said it is the partnership that has allowed all to deliver on the ground. “We’ve to be respectful to everybody involved in the response. Our footprint in development should be more humble and cooperative,” she added.

Joined by government and UN officials and stakeholders, the gathering called making separate development plan for Cox’s Bazar, especially in reviving environment affected by influx of almost one million Rohingyas.

“A major priority is how we can reduce the burden of one million refugees on the people of Cox’s Bazar,” UNHCR Bangladesh country representative Papa Kysma Sylla said. “We have to work with the Myanmar government to improve the situation so that the refugees can go back to their country.”

Abu Morshed Chowdhury of Cox’s Bazar CSO NGO Forum expressed doubts on whether the UN agencies have spent 25 per cent of their allocation for host community as they pledged.

Director general on UN at the foreign affairs ministry Nahida Sobhan said the government’s goal is to ensure sustainable, safe and voluntary repatriation of the Rohingyas.

She, however, emphasised the greater need of coordination in humanitarian response involving the local NGOs to address the need.

Former principal secretary to the prime minister Abdul Karim chaired the dialogue which was also addressed by IOM country director George Gigauri, Anita Kattakuzhy of Oxfam International, and ADAB director Jashim Uddin.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST moderated the session while Mujibul Haque Munir of COAST presented the keynote.