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Rohingya crisis: Australia, New Zealand high commissioners visit Cox’s Bazar

  • Published at 01:16 pm September 9th, 2018
File photo of Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

During the visit, the commissioners went to a UNFPA Women’s Friendly Space and observed UNHCR projects

Delegates from New Zealand’s High Commission, New Delhi, and the Australian High Commission, Dhaka, have travelled to Cox's Bazar to observe the humanitarian response to the Rohingya influx in Bangladesh.

According to a press release on Sunday, the delegates left for the two-day visit starting on September 4.

During the visit, the high commissioners – Joanna Kempkers of New Zealand and Julia Niblett of Australia – went to a UNFPA Women’s Friendly Space and observed UNHCR projects there.

They also met with Australian and New Zealand humanitarian activists working with a number of agencies in the camps, and the commissioner of Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC), to learn how the Rohingya crisis is affecting the locals in Cox’s Bazar.

Kempkers said: "New Zealand applauds the Government of Bangladesh for its ongoing efforts to support Rohingya people."

Niblett added: "A year on from the onset of the crisis, it is incredible to see how much work has been done to provide live-saving services for over 700,000 Rohingya in need. 

"However, there is still more to be done, particularly in addressing gender-based violence and supporting women and girls. Australia remains committed to this going forward."

The governments of Australia and New Zealand have committed themselves to work with Bangladesh and continue helping the vulnerable Rohingya people – especially women and children – and support the host community in Cox's Bazar.

Following a military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state that began on August 25 last year, more than 700,000 Rohingyas – mostly women and children fearing for their lives – crossed over to Bangladesh. 

They joined more than 400,000 other refugees who were already living in squalid and cramped refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.