Cox's Bazar CSO NGO Forum (CCNF) a network of 50 local NGOs working in Cox's Bazar today organised a virtual seminar on the eve of World Humanitarian Day titled "Respect to the front line workers of Covid 19, Solidarity and Diversity."
Speakers of the virtual seminar urged that UN agencies, International NGOs and the government should redouble effort on political mobilisation for dignified return of Rohingya refugees, international agencies should give their effort in their own capitals.
Speakers also said that Bangladesh has already been suffering out of multifaceted problems including climate catastrophes, Covid-19 and floods, especially in the Cox's Bazar district.
Chief Guest Rashedul Islam director general, NGO Affairs Bureau said that dignified return of Myanmar nationals is the best response to the humanitarianism. He also appreciated the effort of local NGOs and sacrifice of front line workers in Covid-19.
The virtual seminar was chaired by Ashraful Afsar Additional deputy commissioner Cox's Bazar; Ajmat Ulla country representative IFRC attended as the Guest of Honor, while Shamsuddoha additional RRRC, Kefayet from UNHCR, Dr Samir Halder from IoM and Saikat from ISCG (Inter Sectoral Coordination Group) participated as Guests.
The seminar was moderated by Abu Morshed Chowdhury and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury Co-Chairs CCNF moderated the seminar.
Eight local front line workers narrated their personal stories on experiences on Covid-19. It is reported that around 129 NGOs, 16000 workers are there in Cox's Bazar Rohingya response where around 1000 front line workers were infected by COVID 19.
Whole audiences of the meeting showed great respect to them including Rohingya and Host Community volunteers, along with doctors and nurses who are still working to save life.
Local NGO leaders Sheuly Sharma of Jago Nari urged more funding priority to local NGOs as they are the first responders. Arifur Rahman of YPSA, requested international agencies to respect the principle of partnership i.e. equal treatment to local NGOs.
Abdullah Al Mamun of Meghna Foundation said that in respect of capacity it should be capacity exchange.
Tariqul of ACLAB requested local NGO access and participation in Rohingya response management. Bimol of Mukti urged for project approval should be at least for 12 months. . Abul Kashem of HELP narrated the flight of locals of UKhiya and Teknaf, they are outnumbered and the economic and social crisis is deepening.
Neleema Akhter of Agrajatra said that, local people are in frustration as they have not seen much progress on the political front, she urged the government and international agencies to redouble effort for dignified repatriation of Rohingya refugees rather than giving effort for fundraising for humanitarian response.
The moderators Abu Morshed Chowdhury and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, have appreciated the help from international agencies especially UNHCR and IoM for helping local administration in Covid- 19 response.
UNHCR has so far established 12 Covid-19 treatment centers with 650 beds, and it has also provided 10 ICU beds with all facilities to Cox's Bazar Sadar hospital. An inclusive approach helped to keep the infection rate control in both Rohingya response and also in the host community- they opined.