• Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

World Bank clarifies its position on Rohingya repatriation

  • Published at 09:14 am August 3rd, 2021
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas who have fled their homeland in Rakhine State after being persecuted by their own country Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The global lender recently sent a letter to ERD attaching a document detailing Rohingyas' freedom of movement, birth certificate, educational and employment opportunities, and infrastructure

The World Bank reviews its refugee policy framework every three years before mobilizing funds under the International Development Assistance window.

The international lender recently solicited input on its current policy review from 16 refugee-hosting nations, including Bangladesh.

The Rohingyas' freedom of movement, birth certificate, educational benefits, and work opportunities were all mentioned in the World Bank letter to the Economic Relations Division (ERD).

In reply to that letter, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Dhaka defines Rohingyas as forcibly displaced Myanmar citizens, not refugees.

"Bangladesh prioritizes their repatriation. They will go back," the minister told journalists in Dhaka on Monday.

Also Read - FM Momen: Bangladesh against any idea leading to Rohingya integration

On Tuesday, the World Bank addressed its position on Rohingya repatriation, its Refugee Policy Review, and other issues in the form of a question-and-answer session.

The questions and answers on their website are as follow:

1. What is the World Bank's position on the repatriation of the displaced Rohingya population?

The World Bank is helping Bangladesh address the needs of the displaced Rohingya population until their safe and voluntary return to Myanmar. The World Bank is also supporting Bangladesh to minimize the impact of the influx on the host communities. 

2. How much has the World Bank committed to support Bangladesh to address the challenges created by the influx of the displaced Rohingya population?

The World Bank has committed $590 million for Bangladesh to address the health, informal education, safety net, water and sanitation, and basic infrastructure, including climate resilient roads, solar street lights, and disaster preparedness needs of both the displaced Rohingya and host communities in Cox's Bazar.

The World Bank's research and analysis are also providing insights for understanding the challenges and development priorities in Cox's Bazar.

3. Is this support a loan or a grant?

The entire $590 million financing is on grant terms. This is not a credit.

4. What is the purpose of the Refugee Policy Review?

The Refugee Policy Review aims to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the World Bank financing for the refugee and host communities.

This review has been done in each of the 14 World Bank member countries that are currently hosting displaced population.  

5. How was the Refugee Policy Review done?

The review was done by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) following the Refugee Policy Review Framework. UNHCR collected baseline information on the existing policies, practices, and programs.

6. Does the Refugee Policy Review make specific recommendations to Bangladesh regarding the Rohingya population?

No, the review does not make any country-specific recommendations.

The proposed Refugee Policy Review, according to Mercy Tembon, World Bank country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, aims to evaluate the success of the World Bank's effort in aiding refugee hosting nations around the world.

"The review for Bangladesh summarizes the existent policies, practices and implementation," she said. 

The World Bank representative also mentioned that the organization is providing $590 million in grant funding to the government of Bangladesh to help meet the needs of the displaced Rohingya people until they are able to return to Myanmar safely and voluntarily.

The expenditure will also be used to lessen the impact on the host towns, according to the statement.

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