Only 47% of $943m-JRP funded so far with three months remaining of the year
The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan may affect funding for hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas sheltered in Cox’s Bazar and the host communities, say officials concerned.
If this fear turns into a reality, the protracted Rohingya crisis will worsen further.
International funding for the Rohingyas in Bangladesh and the host communities is now progressing as smoothly as expected.
With three months to go, only 47.3% of the appealed Joint Response Plan (JRP) 2021 worth $943.1 million has so far been met, which is not satisfactory.
Last week, Tom Andrews, the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, told the UN Human Rights Commission that the response had received only 46% of the requested funds to date.
“We can and should do better,” he said.
Unavailability of funds at the right time deprives the vulnerable people of Myanmar, who had to flee their homes in Rakhine owing to the unprecedented atrocities orchestrated by the Myanmar security forces, local Buddhist goons and people from different ethnic groups, of essential services, including food, health and shelter.
According to people concerned, as the Rohingya crisis lingers without any apparent solution in sight, there always remains a fear that people might start losing interest in it.
And any new crisis like the one in Afghanistan or a worsening of a particular conflict takes away from the funding for existing ones.
“As far as the funding is concerned, one conflict competes with another. And the rich countries do not always open their purses as much as the humanitarian agencies want. Against such a background, if the crisis in Afghanistan gets as worse as the UN is warning, the funding for Rohingyas might be affected,” an official of an international organization told Dhaka Tribune.
“As the Rohingyas are currently in Bangladesh, ultimately the responsibility to look after them rests with the government,” said a senior official of another international organization.
“What the government of Bangladesh should do is to try relentlessly so that the Rohingya issue is not sidelined,” he said.
When contacted, senior government officials told this correspondent that Dhaka was doing all it could to make sure that the international focus remained on the Rohingya crisis and recent activities at the UN, including the role of the prime minister, were a testimony to that.
The time had not yet come to think if the Afghan crisis might affect the funding for Rohingyas and if it did happen, the government would act accordingly, they said.
The officials also said that prior to the latest Rohingya crisis that began in late August 2017, the government believed that money would not be a problem and Dhaka wanted to trust the pledges the international community had made.
The Rohingya crisis will get much worse if there are problems with respect to funding and the international community will not be able to avoid its responsibility in this regard, they warned without elaborating further.