The Government of Japan and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed an agreement to provide $4.4 million in multi-sectoral support assistance for Rohingya and host communities in Cox's Bazar.
An Exchange of Notes was signed by ITO Naoki, ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, andFathima Nusrath Ghazzali, officer in charge of IOM Bangladesh at IOM country office in Dhaka on Thursday (24 February), read a press release.
The Rohingya and host communities in Cox's Bazar face significant challenges due to the lack of sufficient shelters, access to healthcare, latrines and safe water.
In addition, Cox's Bazar is geographically vulnerable to natural disaster, with cyclones occurring annually.
The project, titled "The Project for upgrading shelter and improving living conditions for forcefully displaced persons from Myanmar and the vulnerable host communities in Cox's Bazar District", will support the upgrading of shelters for nearly 50,000 Rohingyas in the camps, as well as almost 1,380 people in host community.
It will assist with the maintenance of two primary healthcare facilities and nine health posts, along with capacity building for volunteers on mental healthcare, the maintenance of 92 latrines and10 water drainage systems in the camps, and the construction of 40 deep tube wells in host community areas.
Furthermore, the project will contribute to the maintenance of 11 cyclone shelters in host community areas as well as capacity building for female volunteers for disaster risk reduction.
"The Rohingyas currently live in congested camps who face limited opportunities and complex challenges. Host communities also confront issues that increase their vulnerability, including strained resources, limited market access, few employment opportunities, insufficient infrastructure, and recurring environmental shocks," said Ghazzali.
"Building on past programming, with the support from Japan, IOM will provide life saving support to both Rohingya and host communities, contributing to improved social harmony and human security. This will include the provision of essential services with shelter; disaster risk reduction; health facilities; and water, sanitation & hygiene," she added.
Japanese Ambassador ITO Naoki expressed the hope that the support from Japan would improve living conditions of both Rohingyas and host communities, and also mitigate the disaster risk in Cox's Bazar.
"During my last visit to Cox's Bazar back in November 2021, I was impressed by the shelter construction work by IOM, and how it involved Rohingya volunteers in an efficient way. Japan will continue to work towards durable solutions including early repatriation to Myanmar, while cooperating with international organizations and NGOs for better living conditions for refugees and host communities. Finding durable solutions in this crisis will be conducive to our pursuit of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific," he said.
With this support, Japan's contribution to Rohingya crisis since the large influx in August 2017 reached nearly $170 million.
The interventions provided under this agreement are aligned with the 2021 Bangladesh Joint Response Plan (JRP) for Rohingyas.
The project will be implemented in coordination with the Government of Bangladesh and other relevant stakeholders.