Dhaka, Feb 15 (UNB) - The United States has called on Myanmar to create the conditions that would allow for voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable returns of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State.
The US also commended the government of Bangladesh’s generosity in responding to this humanitarian crisis and appreciated its continued efforts to ensure assistance reaches the affected population, said the US Department of State in a media note on Friday.
Earlier, the United States announced $60 million in humanitarian assistance at the launch of the 2019 UN Joint Response Plan for Bangladesh in Geneva.
This funding will help address the emergency needs of more than 900,000 Rohingyas in Bangladesh, most of whom are Rohingya women and children from Myanmar, and the related needs of Bangladeshi host communities.
The beneficiaries include Rohingyas who have taken refuge in Bangladesh since August 2017, when Myanmar security forces began committing atrocities, including ethnic cleansing, against Rohingya villagers across northern Rakhine State.
The United States remains the leading contributor to the humanitarian response to this crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh, having provided nearly $449 million since the outbreak of violence in August 2017, of which nearly $406 million is for programs inside Bangladesh.
"We continue to call on others to join us in contributing to this humanitarian response," reads the media note.
US assistance provides protection, emergency shelter, food, water, sanitation, health care, psychosocial support, and education for people affected by the crisis, including Bangladeshi host communities and people displaced inside Myanmar and in the region.
US assistance also supports the efforts of humanitarian organizations and the government of Bangladesh to improve camp infrastructure and shelter ahead of the monsoon and cyclone seasons.
Dhaka, Feb 15 (UNB) - The European Commission of the European Union has released an additional €24 million in humanitarian aid for vulnerable Rohingyas and host communities living in Cox's Bazar district.
Part of the funding will also cover disaster preparedness initiatives in the country.
This announcement made on Friday brings the total EU assistance in response to the Rohingya crisis in both Bangladesh and Myanmar to €139 million since 2017, out of which €94 million for humanitarian aid.
The announcement comes as the United Nations launched its Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya refugee crisis which finds that 1.2 million people are in need in Cox's Bazar between Rohingyas and host communities.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said the humanitarian community and the government of Bangladesh have responded with true solidarity to the plight of the Rohingya refugees.
"Our collective efforts have saved countless lives since the crisis began over a year ago. Yet we cannot stop now as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya rely on humanitarian aid to survive. This is why we are stepping up our EU support. We will stand by those most in need for as long as it takes."
Out of the funding announced on Friday, €19 million will be targeted at Rohingya and host communities to provide protection, emergency health assistance, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and food security.
A further €5 million will be used to support communities' preparedness against hazards and strengthen local authorities' capacities to prepare for and manage natural disasters.
The European Union (EU) called for voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable returns, with the full involvement of the United Nations, in particular the UNHCR, in order to guarantee that return process will be fully in line with international law, according to a press release received from Brussels.
Since the latest outbreak of violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state in August 2017, over 745,000 Rohingyas have fled into Cox's Bazar.
Almost one million now live in an extremely congested mega-camp and are fully dependent on humanitarian aid, without freedom of movement or any livelihood opportunities.
Displacement from Myanmar has almost tripled the total population in Cox's Bazar.
This represents an unprecedented protection crisis in an area that is already prone to natural disasters.
Munich, Feb 15 (UNB) - The three-day Munich Security Conference (MSC 2019) began here on Friday to discuss the future of arms control and cooperation in defence policy as well as examine intersection between trade and international security, effects of climate change and technological innovations on the international security.
The MSC has brought together over 450 senior decision-makers and thought-leaders from around the world to engage in an intensive debate on current and future challenges of human security.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, member of the 19th Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party Yang Jiechi, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Ukraine President Petro Poroschenko, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani are attending the conference.
Over 40 other foreign and defence ministers from the EU and Nato, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Pakistan and the Philippines are also taking part in the conference.
The conference began with the welcome speech of MSC 2019 Chairman Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger. Federal Minister of Defence of Germany Ursula Von dear Leyen and UK Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson delivered opening statements.
Over the course of the past five decades, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has developed into the world’s leading forum for the debate of international security policy.
Repeatedly rated as "Best Think Tank Conference" in the world, the MSC provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to discuss policy at the highest level in a protected and informal space.
In addition to its annual flagship conference, the MSC regularly convenes high-profile events on particular topics and regions and publishes the Munich Security Report.
The goal of the conference is to provide the best possible platforms for an open exchange ofopinions, ideas, and solutions on the critical security policy issues.
Dhaka, Feb 15 (UNB) – Bangladesh and the Netherlands have signed two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for capacity building of the water sector in Bangladesh.
The Water Resources Ministry signed the MoUs -- one with Deltares, a prominent Dutch research organisation involved in water-related research, and the other with the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, a world famous Dutch institution involved in pertaining education, training and research in the water sector.
Water Resources Secretary Kabir Bin Anwar and Science Director of Deltares Jaap Kwadijk and Rector of IHE Delft Prof Dr Eddy Moors signed the MoUs on behalf of their respective sides on February 13, said the Bangladesh Embassy in The Hague on Friday.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal joined the signing ceremony at the IHE Delft while Director General of Bangladesh Water Development Board Engr Md Mahfuzur Rahman was, among others, present.
The MoU with the Deltares will enable the Bangladesh ministry to have support from Deltares in water research, particularly in the fields of delta planning, river management, policy planning and implementation, management of floods and droughts, water quantity and quality, disaster management, coastal polder management as well as geotechnical, river and coastal engineering, etc.
The MoU with the IHE Delft will enable capacity development of future young water professionals from Bangladesh through tailor-made short courses, MSc and PhD programmes, including training courses on basin-wide water resources management; joint action research to identify innovative and practical solution for water resources management in Bangladesh; and collaboration regarding proposed international training institute by the Water Resources Ministry for water resources development and management.
During his visit to IHE Delft, Secretary Anwar, Ambassador Belal and members of Bangladesh delegation exchanged views with Bangladeshi students at the institute.
They discussed the modalities how to increase the number of students in the Netherlands and particularly in IHE Delft.
These initiatives could be seen as a follow-up work of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s official visit to the Netherlands in 2015 as well as preparatory work for the implementation of Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, said the embassy.
Dhaka, Feb 15 (UNB) - The new executives of Indian Media Correspondents Association,Bangladesh (IMCAB) have been elected unopposed for the year 2019-2020.
Bashudeb Dhar of the Daily Statesman (Kolkata), Quddus Afrad (Daily Anandabazar Patrika, Kolkata) and Rafiqul Islam Sabuj (Daily Desher Katha, Agartala) have been elected president, vice president and generalsecretary respectively.
The other elected office-bearers are: joint general secretary- Sahidul Hasan Khokon (The India Today), treasurer Masum Billah (Daily Jugashankha, Kolkata/Assam) and organizing secretary Mir Afroz Zaman(United News of India- UNI), said a press release on Friday.
Executive members are Anisur Rahman(Press Trust of India-PTI), Aminul Hoq Bhuiyan (Daily EiSomoy), Layek Uzzaman (Daily Din Darpon, Kolkata), Rajib Khan (Zee Akash Media) and Abu Ali (Daily Jagaran, Agartala).
Dip Azad, general secretary ofoutgoing committee of IMCAB will remain as member of the executivecommittee according to the constitution of the organization.
The election of the executive committee of IMCAB was scheduled to beheld on February 17 in the biennial general meeting.
According to election schedule the date of submission of nomination papers was on February 12.
But it was seen that eleven candidates submittednominations papers for eleven posts, one candidate for eachpost, said the press release.
On this ground, Haroon Habib, Chairman and Khairuzzaman Kamal,member of the committee formed to run the election declared the candidates elected unopposed.