By Al Jazeera
Top United Nations officials have urged the international community not to forget the plight of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and called for global support to ensure their safe and voluntary return to Myanmar.
Speaking to reporters following a visit to refugee camps in Bangladesh‘s Cox’s Bazar on Friday, Mark Lowcock, the UU under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said the body was seeking to raise nearly a billion dollars to help the Rohingya refugees and their host community.
More than 700,000 members of the persecuted minority fled Myanmar following a brutal military crackdown in response to attacks by a Rohingya armed group.
More than 1.2 million now live in overcrowded and squalid refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh.
Lowcock said the “great exodus” of Rohingya refugees arriving at Cox’s Bazar “caused all sorts of issues”.
“Our main message is to the wider world: do not forget the Rohingya, do not forget the generosity of the people and institutions and government of Bangladesh, and be generous in supporting both the Rohingya and Bangladesh,” he said.
Filippo Grandi, UN high commissioner for refugees, who accompanied Lowcock, said the Rohingya refugee crisis should not turn into a “forgotten crisis”.
“This remains one of the world’s biggest refugee crises,” said Grandi.
“I saw a great deal of progress, but their situation, especially for women and children, remains fragile. With the current crisis almost two years on we must give refugees the chance to learn, build skills and contribute to their communities while also preparing for reintegration when they can return to Myanmar,” he added.
“It’s very clear: Nobody has gone back because many of those reasons that pushed them out of the country have not yet been addressed.”
Top UN officials call for generosity from world to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh camps.