Denmark, WFP assure of continued support to Rohingyas


DHAKA, Oct 31, 2018 (BSS) – The Danish government and the World Food Program (WFP) assured of continued support to Bangladesh for the repatriation as well as subsistence of the Rohingyas during their stay in Bangladesh.

Visiting Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Pederson Tornaes and WFP Executive Director David Beasley came up with the assurance during a courtesy call on Prime Minister at her Gonobhaban Residence here today.

PM’s press secretary Ehsanul Karim said Ulla Pederson Tornaes mainly discussed the Rohingya issue with the Prime Minister and informed about the decision of the Danish government of giving US$ 3.5 million humanitarian support to the Rohingyas.

The Danish Minister highly appreciated the Bangladesh government for hosting a huge number of Rohingya population and constant efforts to arrange shelter, food and healthcare facilities for the displaced Myanmar’s people well as education of their children.

“It’s really a big challenge to host the huge number of people,” the Danish Minister said appreciating dedicated services of the workers of Rohingya camps.

Ulla said she has seen a total change of atmosphere during her visit to the camps comparing to the situation as it was before.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the process of return of the Rohingyas will begin very soon since Myanmar has agreed to take back their nationals. In the first phase, she said, a total of 2,260 people of 485 families would go back to their home.

Sheikh Hasina requested the Danish government and the WFP to extend their support to Rohingyas after their repatriation.

The Prime Minister highlighted the steps taken by her government for temporary shelter, healthcare services and education of the Rohingyas.

About 1,600 schools were built in the camps and educated Rohingyas were appointed to give them education in their own language, she mentioned.

Taking any possible natural disaster into consideration, Sheikh Hasina said, her government has taken steps to relocate the displaced Rohingyas to cyclone shelter centres constructed at a place named Bhasan Char where they would be able to live in a safer and better conditions.

Noting that Bangladesh Navy and about 7,000 workers were engaged in Bhasan Char for constructing the shelter centres, she said after repatriation of the Rohingyas, the cyclone centres would be used for domestic purposes.

The Prime Minister pointed out the sufferings of the local people due to intrusion of huge number of Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar saying the government is helping local community as the Myanmar nationals have occupied their cultivable lands.

The Prime Minister thanked the Danish government for uninterrupted political support and humanitarian assistance to Rohingays. She also extended special thanks to the WFP for its uninterrupted attention to the issue which was crucial for sustainable solution to the crisis.

The press secretary said the issue of upcoming election also came in their discussion when the Prime Minister said the election would be held in due time.

The Election Commission (EC) will declare the schedule and all administration and law enforcement agencies will be controlled by the EC, the premier said.

Sheikh Hasina also briefed the Danish Minister about Bangladesh’s socioeconomic achievements over the years, saying the progress of Bangladesh has been interrupted by military rule, quasi martial law and undemocratic rulers.

“Bangabandhu dreamt for a social welfare state. But, he could not fulfill his dream as he was brutally killed in only three and a half years of independence,” she added.

The Danish Minister recalled the long history of cooperation in various areas between Bangladesh and Denmark.

Principal secretary to the Prime Minister Md Nozibur Rahman and PMO secretary Sazzadul Hassan were present.