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Italy contributes €3mn to UNHCR for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has welcomed the generous contribution of Euro 3 million by the government of Italy for the continued protection and humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The announcement was made today by Enrico Nunziata, Ambassador of Italy in Bangladesh, and Johannes van der Klaauw, UNHCR Representative.

This contribution from the government and the people of Italy will help UNHCR continue providing lifesaving protection and assistance for almost one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who remain reliant on humanitarian assistance for survival. This includes access to health, water and sanitation, as well as crucial protection services, and also support for refugees’ education and skills development, particularly for women and children, said Johannes van der Klaauw, UNB reports.

“This generous contribution from Italy, which comes from its foreign policy budget, highlights the longer-term nature of this commitment and is all the more welcome now that we anticipate significant reduction in financial support from the international community,” he added.

The grant of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is a contribution to the activities of the Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh and UNHCR on Rohingya’s protection as set up in the Joint Response Plan, in line with the commitment of the Italian government to maintain access to critical and life-sustaining services for refugees living both in Cox’s Bazar camps and on Bhasan Char.

Italy praises the efforts and generosity of the Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh in hosting hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees within its territory. “Since the beginning of the Rohingya refugee crisis in August 2017, Italy has constantly given its contribution through main international organizations and UN agencies,” said Enrico Nunziata.

The contribution from Italy will enable UNHCR to provide protection services such as registration, access to justice, support for survivors of gender-based violence, community-based protection and child-friendly spaces, said UNHCR in a media release on Wednesday.

It will also empower the refugee communities, through education, by training teachers to implement the Myanmar curriculum in the camps, and through skills development for women, to improve their resilience until they can return to Myanmar.

The funds will also support the delivering of essential services, such as shelter, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, as well as the provision of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a safe and clean source of cooking energy, a key contributor in the prevention of degradation of the environment in and around the camps.

Five years after being forced to flee violence in Myanmar, some 920,000 Rohingya refugees are currently hosted in densely populated camps in Cox’s Bazar, with an additional 30,000 refugees residing on Bhasan Char.