A delegation comprising the Australian High Commissioner and Ambassadors of Japan and the United States met with Bangladeshi government officials and international agencies assisting host communities and Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar to reiterate their unwavering support for Bangladesh's refugee response.
During 3-4-March , the delegation also visited a disaster preparedness project, food programmes, a learning centre, a health facility, and spoke with community health volunteers about their role in the Covid-19 response in the Rohingya refugee camps and host communities.
The latest visit marks a year since the first cases of coronavirus were reported in Bangladesh and the first since the October 2020 Rohingya donor conference, which raised nearly $600 million in additional relief funds for Rohingya refugees and host communities.
The leaders of the international missions remarked separately on the strong collaboration between international partners and the strength of their ongoing commitment to resolving the crisis.
US Ambassador Earl Robert Miller said, "The international community has not forgotten the refugees or host communities supporting the Rohingya refugees. We continue to work with international organisations to encourage Myanmar to create the conditions that allow for the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of refugees. To that end, we strongly support all those calling on the Myanmar military to restore power to the democratically elected government,release all those who have been unjustly detained, and cease attacks on journalists, activists, and others. The military must exercise maximum restraint and refrain from additional violence."
Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer said, "We would like to reiterate our strong support for Bangladesh hosting displaced Rohingya. Last year, Covid-19 created many new challenges, including here in Cox's Bazar. With case numbers steadying and with the vaccine in sight, it is as important as ever, for us to work together with the Bangladesh authorities to ensure humanitarian partners can deliver the much-needed assistance to both Rohingya and host communities."
Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki said, "We had this joint mission with an intention to further promote our support for the Government of Bangladesh and to strengthen cooperation with international organisations and NGOs. Japan will work towards early repatriation of the displaced people, while continuing humanitarian assistance in Cox's Bazar, as finding lasting solutions to this crisis is conducive to our pursuit of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. We strongly hope that, as the coronavirus situation has been improving, comprehensive service delivery including education will restart soon."