South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

low income people-poverty-relief-coronavirus-RAJIB DHAR

Low income people take position in Dhaka’s major streets waiting for people to come and provide some relief for them during the nationawide shutdown beacause of coronavirus pandemic Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka urged the international community to share burden and responsibility with respect to humanitarian situations, including the Rohingya crisis  

Bangladesh has voiced its opinion in favour of additional funding without curtailing the regular assistance while dealing with the humanitarian emergencies, especially the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Dhaka also called upon the international community to share the burden as well as responsibility in dealing with humanitarian situations, including the Rohingya crisis.  

 “The principle of burden- and responsibility- sharing should be central to the actions of the international community in addressing humanitarian situations,” Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Ambassador Rabab Fatima said on Tuesday in New York.

“Emergency humanitarian responses such as pandemics and health emergencies must be underpinned by additional humanitarian assistance, without curtailing the funds for regular humanitarian needs”, she told a high-level panel discussion on “Addressing the increasing complexity of health challenges in humanitarian context” in the 2020 UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS), according to the Bangladesh permanent mission in the UN on Wednesday.

Sharing Bangladesh’s experience, Fatima stated that the hosting of the 1.1 million Rohingyas from Myanmar demonstrated Dhaka’s commitment to humanity and human rights.

She briefed the meeting about some of the efforts of the government of Bangladesh to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 in the Rohingya camps which include steps taken to put in place hygiene and social distance measures and setting up of temporary isolation centres while ensuring that humanitarian operations such as food, nutrition, water, and sanitation programmes continued unhindered.

The permanent representative also mentioned that these measures have kept coronavirus spread among the Rohingya population to a minimum; not anywhere close to the infection rate in the host community.

She informed that the Rohingyas had been included in Bangladesh’s national Covid-19 response and recovery plans.

Morocco as the Vice President of the ECOSOC chaired the ECOSOC HAS meeting, moderated by Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock.

Earlier, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres addressed the HAS and mentioned that health emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic could exacerbate any humanitarian crisis, and therefore, the refugees and other people in humanitarian situations were being given high priority in the UN’s global humanitarian response plan.

Representative Fatima underscored that the existing gaps in humanitarian assistance coordination must be addressed and all people including refugees and migrants and their host communities must have unhindered and free access to vaccines and treatments, without any additional burden to their host countries.

She emphasized that all humanitarian programmes for preparedness, response and recovery, need to be inclusive of mental health and psychosocial support for all affected people and urged for special attention to the gender dimension and particular challenges faced by women, in such situations.


Updated On: June 10th, 2020

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