Japan, UNHCR sign $4.5 million agreement to support Rohingyas

The government of Japan and UNHCR have signed an agreement for the protection and assistance of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The contribution of US$ 4.5 million [JPY 600 million] will be used for reinforcement of life-saving and life-sustaining services by improving the livelihood of refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar and on Bhasan Char.

An exchange of notes was signed on Wednesday by Iwama Kiminori, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, and Johannes van der Klaauw, UNHCR Representative in Bangladesh, said the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday.

“This new contribution from the government of Japan for some of UNHCR’s essential protection and assistance programs as well as livelihood activities in the camps in Cox’s Bazar and on Bhasan Char comes at a critical time now that we are facing a looming funding crisis already manifest in reduced refugee access to food”, said Johannes van der Klaauw, UNHCR Representative in Bangladesh.

He said Japan is once more at the forefront of supporting UNHCR programmes in Bangladesh. “We hope this contribution will also serve as a catalyst for other donors to follow suit”.

During his visit to Cox’s Bazar last month, Ambassador Iwama said he was impressed by the use of information technology for the joint management of the registration for Rohingya refugees by the Government of Bangladesh and UNHCR.

“I was also delighted to witness strengthened livelihood assistance in collaboration with a Japanese company, where Rohingya women produce sanitary goods. We will continue to engage in the solution for a voluntary, safe and sustainable return , and will cooperate with UNHCR and other humanitarian partners to achieve better living conditions for refugees and host communities.” said H.E. Iwama Kiminori, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh,” HE SAID.

Ambassador Iwama expressed his hope that the support from the government of Japan would improve living conditions of both Rohingya and local communities.

“Also, I was profoundly touched by the tireless activities of the Government of Bangladesh, the UN agencies, and NGOs. I recognized the need for continuous support for them, and we will commit to that,” he said.

Since the large influx in August 2017, Japan has contributed over US$ 204 million to various interventions in Cox’s Bazar as well as in Bhasan Char through international organizations and NGOs.

This assistance includes food assistance, healthcare, WASH, shelter, protection, and gender.

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