Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) - Unicef is requesting US$ 152.5 million this year to meet the lifesaving and humanitarian-development needs of Rohingyas and Bangladeshi host communities, it said on Tuesday.
Millions of children living in countries affected by conflicts and disasters lack access to vital child protection services, putting their safety, wellbeing and futures at risk, Unicef warned as it appealed for $3.9 billion to support its work for children in humanitarian crises.
Unicef’s Humanitarian Action for Children sets out the agency’s 2019 appeal and its efforts to provide 41 million children with access to safe water, nutrition, education, health and protection in 59 countries across the globe.
Since August 2017, more than 730,000 Rohingya, including 400,000 children, have fled violence in Myanmar and settled in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, according to Unicef.
Despite the enormous challenges of the magnitude and extreme speed of the influx, Unicef extended life-saving services to over 1.2 million refugees and affected host communities.
Some 380,000 people were provided with access to safe drinking water; 145,209 Rohingya children got basic education, 20,000 children under five treated for severe acute malnutrition and 1,235,475 people over 1 year old received oral cholera vaccine. Thanks to the donors for their generous support.
Funding for child protection programmes accounts for $385 million of the overall appeal, including almost $121 million for protection services for children affected by the Syria crisis.
“Today, millions of children living through conflict or disaster are suffering horrific levels of violence, distress and trauma,” said Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
“The impact of our child protection work cannot be overstated. When children do not have safe places to play, when they cannot be reunited with their families, when they don’t receive psychosocial support, they won’t heal from the unseen scars of war.”
Unicef estimates that more than 34 million children living through conflict and disaster lack access to child protection services, including 6.6 million children in Yemen, 5.5 million children in Syria and 4 million children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Child protection services include all efforts to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation, trauma and violence.
Unicef also works to ensure that the protection of children is central to all other areas of the organisation’s humanitarian programmes, including water, sanitation and hygiene, education and other areas of work by identifying, mitigating and responding to potential dangers to children’s safety and wellbeing.
However, funding constraints, as well as other challenges, including warring parties’ growing disregard for international humanitarian law and the denial of humanitarian access, mean that aid agencies’ capacity to protect children is severely limited.
In the DRC, for example, Unicef received just a third of the $21 million required for child protection programmes in 2018, while around one-fifth of child protection funding for Syrian children remained unmet.
“Providing these children with the support they need is critical, but without significant and sustained international action, many will continue to fall through the cracks,” said Manuel Fontaine, Unicef Director of Emergency Programmes. “The international community should commit to supporting the protection of children in emergencies.”
This includes the provision of essential nutrition, health, WASH, protection and education services. Given the country’s high level of risk for natural hazards, the humanitarian system’s capacity to prepare for and respond to sudden-onset disasters/ epidemics will be supported throughout the country.
The year 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, yet today, more countries are embroiled in internal or international conflict than at any other time in the past three decades, threatening the safety and wellbeing of millions of children.
Unicef’s appeal comes one month after the children’s agency said that the world is failing to protect children living in conflict around the world, with catastrophic consequences.
The children who are continuously exposed to violence or conflict, especially at a young age, are at risk of living in a state of toxic stress – a condition that, without the right support can lead to negative life-long consequences for their cognitive, social and emotional development.
Some children impacted by war, displacement and other traumatic events – such as sexual and gender-based violence – require specialized care to help them cope and recover.
The five largest individual appeals are for Syrian refugees and host communities in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey (US$ 904 million); Yemen (US$ 542.3 million); The Democratic Republic of the Congo (US$ 326.1 million); Syria (US$ 319.8 million) and South Sudan (US$ 179.2 million).
Jhenaidah, Jan 29 (UNB) – At least 10 people were injured in a turf war between two factions of ruling Awami League in Shailkupa Upazila’s Bhatoi village on Tuesday.
Police said AL’s Dudhswar Union unit General Secretary TA Raju and local Jubo League leader Mushfiqur Rahman Ujjal had been at loggerheads over dominance in the area.
Ujjal’s supporters beat up Raju’s follower Asad on Monday night leading to the morning’s violent clashes, said Tarek Al Mehedi, additional superintendent of Jhenaidah police.
Police rushed to the spot and took the situation under control.
Five people have been arrested over the clash.
Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) - Bangladesh High Commissioner to Singapore Md Mustafizur Rahman has said Bangladeshi doctors have earned good name and fame for Bangladesh abroad through their professional excellence, hard work and dedication.
He urged the Bangladeshi doctors to utilise their working experience in Singapore, professional expertise and application of the latest technologies for the development of the health sector in Bangladesh.
While addressing a function at the High Commission auditorium recently, the High Commissioner also said they can play an important role in portraying a positive image of the country to foreigners.
Bangladesh High Commission in Singapore organised the event titled ‘Networking with Bangladeshi Doctors in Singapore,’ said the Commission on Tuesday.
A total of 21 Bangladeshi doctors working in different hospitals of Singapore attended the networking event along with their families.
In the interactive session, many doctors said they are facing serious challenges in obtaining Singapore Permanent Residency which in turn is affecting their professional growth, residency, job and training opportunities.
They requested the High Commission to take initiatives to resolve the issue as well as help them get more job opportunities in Singapore.
The High Commissioner assured them of broaching up the concerns of Bangladeshi doctors with the Singapore authority.
The doctors appreciated the initiative of the High Commission for arranging such a networking event for Bangladeshi doctors and their families in Singapore, which they hoped would strengthen the bond of fraternity among the doctors and help them work united way for their cause.
Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) – The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested five members of an international drug smuggling gang from the city’s Kaula area on Monday.
The arrestees were identified as Fatema Imam Tania, 26, Afsana Mini, 23, Salma Sultana, 26, Sheikh Mohammad Badhon alias Parvez, 28 and Ruhul Amin alias Saimon, 29. Contraband yaba pills, foreign currencies and passports were seized from them.
Rab Legal and Media Wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan made the disclosure at a press briefing at Rab Media Center on Tuesday. He said the gang operated in multiple countries.
Mahmud said Sri Lankan authorities arrested two Bangladeshis — Jamal Uddin and Rafiul Ilsam — in December 2018 with 272 kilograms of heroin and 5kg cocaine from Colombo. Several days later, Suryamoni, another Bangladeshi, was arrested with 32kg heroin.
A taskforce was formed in Bangladesh to investigate the arrests of Bangladeshis with drugs, Mahmud said. The taskforce arrested suspected drug dealer Choice Rahman on January 12. A case was later filed at Uttara West Police Station.
After investigation, five members of the international drug gang were arrested in Dhaka. The arrestees said one Arif Uddin was their leader in Bangladesh, Mahmud said.
Arif owns Al-Amin Buying House and has at least 15 to 20 people in drug trade syndicate, according to Rab.
Quoting arrestees, Mahmud said Arif himself recruited potential members for the syndicate. Rehana and Saimon also helped him with recruitments.
At first, they would involve the new recruits with official businesses but after a few days, some employees were picked for collecting and selling drugs in the country, he said.
When the employees became well acquainted with the business, they would be sent abroad to supply drugs.
This syndicate has networks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, Rab said.
Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) – Any policemen found involved in drug dealing, patronising or helping the traders will be given exemplary punishment, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said on Tuesday.
“We have taken a tough stance against drugs. If we find any drug den in the city, we will bulldoze it,” Asaduzzaman said after inaugurating a Closed-Circuit Camera control room and police service week 2019 in the city’s Aftabnagar in the morning.
He said drug dens from Karail slum and Karwan Bazar had been rooted out. “We are also looking for criminals behind the drug trade,” he said.
About CC cameras, he said they played a vital role in preventing crimes. “Crime rates in Gulshan, Banani and Baridhara came down to zero after the installation of CC cameras,” the DMP commissioner said.
One hundred CC cameras have been installed in Aftabnagar. “There will be no more crime in this area,” he hoped. “Nobody will dare to commit crime. If anyone does, he will be arrested easily.”
The DMP commissioner also urged the people to contact senior officers if they are harassed at police stations or do not get service from police. He asked policemen to serve the people, saying, “If you cannot do your duties, leave it. Others will take care of it.”