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Funding a major challenge for Rohingyas in B'desh: Report

Funding a major challenge for Rohingyas in Bdesh: Report

Dhaka: Over nine lakhs of Rohingya Muslim refugees living in the camps in Bangladesh are facing yet another year of uncertainity as funding continues to be a major challenge for the authorities, a media report said on Monday.

Situation is such that three quarters of 2019 have already elapsed with only 35 per cent of the required USD 920 million made available, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

The shortage of funding has caused some of the key sectors like health, protection, nutrition, and site management, remain severely underfunded, putting the lives of the Rohingyas in danger.

Over 9,00,000 Rohingya fled a crackdown by Myanmar's military in 2017 in Rakhine state and are living in camps in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh.

Myanmar has faced international pressure to allow the Rohingya to return to Rakhine and grant them citizenship rights.

On February 15, a Joint Response Plan (JPR) for 2019 was launched in Geneva, seeking USD 920.5 million to cover expenses for the period between January and December 2019.

About 69 per cent of the USD 950 million sought in JRP 2018 was met, while around 64 per cent of the USD 434 million sought under JRP 2017 was provided, the report said.

The financial tracking system of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that only USD 330 million of the appeal for USD 920.5 million, which is less than 36 per cent, has so far been met, the paper reported.

"With only about three months left of the year and USD 590 million remaining unmet so far, it's certain that funding like it was in previous years, will not be possible," it said.

For food security, only USD 86.9 million (34.2 per cent) of the USD 254.1 million sought, was funded.

Of USD 128.8 mn for shelter, only USD 15.6 mn (12.1 per cent) has so far been collected. For health, USD 13.1mn (14.7.8 per cent) of USD 88.7 mn has been provided.

For nutrition, out of USD 48.1 mn, only USD 13.8 mn, which is 14.8 per cent, has been made available, while for protection, USD 9.7 mn out of USD 38.9 mn has been collected.

For shelter, USD 128 mn was asked, of which 12.1 per cent (USD 15.6 mn) was met, and for site management, USD 24.4 mn (24.7 per cent) of USD 98.7 mn has so far been made available.

The funding scenario with regard to other sectors like child protection, communication with communities, coordination, education, emergency telecommunication, gender-based violence, and logistics, is more or less the same, the paper reported.

Not a single sector has been able to get more than 36.4 per cent funding, roughly a third of the funding promised. One sector, emergency telecom, has not yet received a single cent this year, the report said.

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