Dhaka, Oct 31 (UNB) - Denmark and World Food Program (WFP) reassured Bangladesh that they will continue their support and cooperation for the repatriation of Rohingyas and their subsistence here.
Visiting Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Pederson Tornaes and Executive Director of World Food Program (WFP) David Beasley came up with the assurance when they met Prime Minister at her official residence Ganobhaban.
PM's press secretary Ehsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
He said Tornaes mainly discussed the Rohingya issue with the Prime Minister and informed the decision of the Danish government of providing US$ 3.5 million humanitarian support for the Rohingyas.
The Danish minister highly appreciated Bangladesh government for hosting huge Rohingays and constant efforts to arrange shelter, food and healthcare facilities for them as well as education for their children.
"It's really a big challenge to host a huge number of people," the Danish minister said adding that she has seen a total change in the atmosphere during her visit to the camps compared to the situation before.
Sheikh Hasina said the process of return of the Rohingyas will begin very soon as Myanmar has agreed to take back their nationals. "A total of 2,260 of 485 families will go back to their home in the first phase," she said.
Hasina requested the Danish government and WFP to extend their support to Rohingyas after their repatriation to Myanmar.
Highlighting the steps taken by her government for temporary shelter, healthcare services and education of the Rohingas she said some 1,600 schools have been built in the refugee camps and educated Rohingya refugees appointed to teach them in their own language.
The government has taken steps to relocate the refugees to cyclone shelter centres constructed at Bhasan Char taking the possible natural disasters into consideration where they would be able to live in a safer and better condition.
Hasina said members of Bangladesh Navy and 7,000 workers have been engaged in Bhasan Char for constructing the shelter centers. "After the repatriation of the Rohingyas, the cyclone centres will be used for domestic purposes."
The Prime Minister briefly described the sufferings of local people due to the influx of Rihingyas into Cox's Bazar and mentioned that the government is helping local people as refugees have occupied their croplands.
The Prime Minister thanked the Danish government for uninterrupted political support and humanitarian assistance for Rohingays.
She also extended special thanks to WFP for its attention to the issue which was crucial for sustainable solution to the crisis.
The press secretary said the issue of upcoming election also came up at the meeting or discussions when the Prime Minister said the election will be held in due time.
"The Election Commission will declare the election schedule and the administration and law enforcement agencies will be controlled by the Election Commission," she said.
Hasina also briefed the Danish minister about Bangladesh's social and economic achievements.