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CERF allocates $8m for Rohingyas in Bangladesh

The United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated $8 million to provide support to almost a million Rohingya refugees staying in camps in Cox’s Bazar district and on the island of Bhasan Char.

The funding allocation to Bangladesh is part of a CERF initiative to support underfunded humanitarian operations in 14 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East, says a press release issued on Wednesday.

Commenting on the allocation, the UN humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, said, “It is a cruel reality that in many humanitarian operations, aid agencies are scraping along with very little funding right at a time when people’s needs compel them to scale up.

“Thanks to the generosity of a vast range of donors, we can count on CERF to fill some of the gaps. Lives are saved as a result.”
“But we need individual donors to step up as well – this is a fund by all and for all,” he urged.

In Bangladesh, under the leadership of the country’s UN resident coordinator and in consultation with the Bangladesh government and local NGOs, the funding allocation will support priority programs for refugees and host communities who do not have any other source of support.

Humanitarian agencies have appealed for $876 million this year to assist around 1.47 million people, including Rohingya refugees and local Bangladeshis.

However, as of September 6, funds for the Joint Response Plan only reached 30.6 per cent of this appeal.

“The UN in Bangladesh welcomes the decision of the emergency relief coordinator to provide funding to the severely underfunded Rohingya response to support refugees and the host community,” said UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Gwyn Lewis.

This allocation is especially important in light of the funding shortfall in the humanitarian support for the Rohingya refugee response. The refugees remain entirely dependent on international community funding and are in need of help,” said the UN Resident Coordinator added.

The CERF allocation will also help scale up humanitarian assistance with Afghanistan and Yemen both receiving $20 million, Burkina Faso getting $9 million, Mali, Haiti and Venezuela all allocated $8 million, Myanmar receiving $9 million, the Central African Republic and Mozambique each receiving $6.5 million, Cameroon and the Occupied Palestinian Territories both allocated $6 million, and Malawi being provided with $4 million.

In addition to Bangladesh, the allocation will also support refugee operations in Uganda with $6 million.