UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, together with the Bangladesh government will soon launch the Joint Response Plan for 2023 to appeal to donor partners for funding to meet the needs of Rohingyas in Bangladesh and the local communities hosting them here.
“We shall appeal for approximately $876 million in all relevant sectors, of which some $67 million would be required for our operations on Bhasan Char,” Johannes van der Klaauw, UNHCR Representative in Bangladesh, told UNB in an exclusive interview.
As in the past, he said, they do not expect this budget to be funded to the full, but the gap is expected to be much larger in the coming year.
“We therefore need to redouble our efforts to mobilize resources and notably development funding, to be used in a flexible manner, as humanitarian aid budgets are no longer available,” said the senior UN official.
At the same time, Klaauw said, they are prioritizing funding needs more than before — focusing on the most vulnerable and addressing the most critical gaps.
UNHCR continues to appeal for further investments by the international community in refugees’ education and skills development, including vocational training and other forms of capacity-building for adolescent and adult refugees, and opportunities to put the acquired learning and skills into practice through livelihood projects.
Rohingya refugees should be allowed to become self-reliant, to purchase part of their daily food, cooking gas, household items, as general distribution of these commodities will no longer be possible as a result of a reduction in financial support from the international community, said Klaauw who leads UNHCR’s response for the Rohingya refugees hosted in the country.
This will allow the refugees to support their communities and live with dignity while in exile in Bangladesh, and above all to prepare them for rebuilding their lives when they can voluntarily and safely return to Myanmar, he said.