October 2, 2023
DHAKA – Semi-durable houses for the Rohingyas and allowing them to join income-generating activities in Cox’s Bazar may curtail government costs for refugees, the US has suggested today.
Janine Wynne, deputy assistant secretary of state of the Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration shared the idea during a meeting with Acting Foreign Secretary Rear Admiral (Rtd) Khurshed Alam and foreign ministry’s director general (Myanmar) Mia Md Mainul Kabir at the ministry today.
They discussed the challenges faced by the Rohingyas as well as host Bangladesh due to the declining global humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas.
Humanitarian agencies have appealed for more than $876m this year to support the Rohingya in Bangladesh. As of August 2023, the Joint Response Plan for supporting them was only 30 percent funded.
Early this year, food ration for each refugee was slashed to $8 from $12 a month.
A foreign ministry official told this correspondent that the UN has developed a plastic-made semi-durable housing model.
“Wynne said that type of housing could be cost-effective. We agreed to the spirit of the proposal, but said that the use of plastic would be hazardous for environment. Then she said we can be creative in how we do that,” said the official.
On the issue of involving Rohingyas in income-generating activities, the official said Bangladesh government is unlikely to agree to that proposal.
Janine Wynne said that the US has been the largest donor for the Rohingyas’ humanitarian assistance and will continue to provide the support.
“We said we want Rohingya repatriation because that is the ultimate solution. She said the repatriation should be sustainable,” the foreign ministry official said.