Myanmar: 5 years since Rohingya mass exodus, UNHCR urges solutions
This week marks 5 years since 700,000+ Rohingya women, men and children fled Myanmar for Bangladesh, joining hundreds of thousands of others. We are appealing for much greater efforts to secure both financial support and solutions for the Rohingya.https://t.co/GB557H9TiB
— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) August 23, 2022
They also underscore the importance of accessing services and income-generating activities.
Dependent on aid
For the almost one million Stateless Rohingya refugees, conditions in Bangladesh are extremely overcrowded, and they remain fully reliant on humanitarian assistance for survival.
“With decreased funding, they face many challenges in their daily lives,” said Ms. Mantoo, citing multiple humanitarian assessment surveys that found proper nutrition, shelter materials, sanitation facilities and livelihood opportunities to be among the most commonly unmet needs include.
“Some have resorted to dangerous boat journeys to seek a better future”.
The UNHCR spokesperson also pointed out that violent incidents, especially for women, children and people with disabilities, are often under-reported.
Violence against children and women, especially gender-based violence, is “shrouded in stigma” that can render survivors voiceless, often unable to access legal, medical, psycho-social or other forms of support, she said.
Support must be “stepped up” for education, skills development, and livelihood opportunities, Ms. Mantoo continued, reminding that these will not only prepare refugees for eventual return but also help them remain safe and productive during their stay in Bangladesh.
While some 10,000 Rohingya children in Bangladesh are already enrolled in the Myanmar curriculum, taught in the Myanmar language, support for sustained and expanded access to the curriculum is needed.
“This is a milestone towards a more formal education and helps close the gap for older children who previously had no learning opportunities,” said the UNHCR spokesperson.
UNHCR is also appealing for further investment to ensure refugees can benefit from skills development, including vocational training and other forms of capacity-building for adolescent and adult refugees.
In addition to allowing the refugees to support their communities and live with dignity in Bangladesh, it will prepare them for rebuilding their lives when they can voluntarily and safely return to Myanmar, which is currently living under brutal military rule following the coup last year.