Cox's Bazar, May 17 : More than two lakh seventy thousand stateless Rohingya refugees received identity cards by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Bangladesh authorities on Friday, many with their first ever proof of their right to return to Myanmar in the future.
UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said " Over a quarter of a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have now been jointly registered and provided with identity cards by the Bangladesh authorities and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.The registration exercise, which began in June 2018, is about safeguarding the right of Rohingya refugees to be able to return home voluntarily to Myanmar in future. So far, the Government and UNHCR have registered 270,348 refugees (59,842 families) in the settlements in Cox’s Bazar district.Each day, over 4,000 refugees are registered at six different locations, where more than 450 staff are working long hours with the goal of completing the process by late 2019.
A total of 270,348 refugees have been registered in the settlements of Ukhia and Teknaf Upazilas. On average, over 4,000 refugees are being registered a day in the exercise, with the aim of concluding the registration of all those in the settlements late this year.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi during a recent visit to Cox Bazar said " Having an identity is a basic human right. And remember: many of these people, all their life, did not have a proper identification. So, for them, it’s also an incredible step into a more dignified life.
Rohingya refugees sheltering in Bangladesh are stateless. Despite living in Myanmar for generations, the Rohingya lost their citizenship following a change in Myanmar laws in 1982.More than 900,000 Rohingya refugees are in crowded settlements in Cox’s Bazar, 741,000 of these being people who have fled from Myanmar since August 2017.
A Joint Response Plan (JRP) launched in February 2019 seeks to raise US$ 920 million for humanitarian needs of Rohingya refugees and vulnerable Bangladeshi host communities in 2019. As of mid-May the JRP is just under 18 cent funded (US$ 165.2 million). UNI