PM Sheikh Hasina champions Rohingya aid and migration governance

Sheikh Hasina

On May 7, 2024, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina engaged in a crucial dialogue with International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director General Amy Pope, reaffirming Bangladesh’s unwavering dedication to aiding Rohingya refugees. Their meeting, convened at the esteemed setting of the PM’s official residence, Ganabhaban, extensively explored avenues for bolstering Rohingya assistance, advancing relocation initiatives, and formulating comprehensive strategies for managing migration on a broader scale.

During the discussion, Prime Minister Hasina emphasized the urgent necessity for heightened financial support to uphold aid initiatives for Rohingya refugees residing in Bangladesh. She urged the IOM to broaden its spectrum of funding channels, fostering novel collaborations to fortify assistance for the displaced Rohingya community. Addressing apprehensions over dwindling funds allocated for Rohingya aid, she advocated for inventive methodologies to ensure the procurement of requisite resources, underlining the imperative of sustained support in their plight.

Moreover, Prime Minister Hasina emphasized the importance of relocating Rohingya refugees to Bhashanchar, highlighting the facilities and infrastructure available to accommodate them. With a purpose-built settlement capable of hosting up to one lakh Rohingya, Bhashanchar presents a viable solution to alleviate overcrowding and improve living conditions in Cox’s Bazar. Approximately 30-35 thousand Rohingya have already been relocated to the island, signaling progress in this initiative.

Security surfaced as a central concern, with the IOM Director General expressing reservations about the safety of Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar. Prime Minister Hasina provided assurance of thorough security protocols, highlighting the deployment of sufficient personnel to protect the Rohingya community. Recognizing internal tensions within the Rohingya populace, she reaffirmed the government’s dedication to guaranteeing their safety and welfare, emphasizing a proactive approach to address security challenges and promote a secure environment for all residents of the camps.

Beyond tackling the Rohingya crisis, the discussion embraced wider migration management tactics, such as skill enhancement and language instruction for migrants. Prime Minister Hasina spotlighted the government’s efforts in setting up Technical Training Centres (TTCs) nationwide, with a focus on furnishing migrants with vital competencies for assimilation and overseas job opportunities.

Migration was depicted as an inherent occurrence, with Prime Minister Hasina stressing poverty alleviation as a viable strategy to alleviate migration burdens. She highlighted Bangladesh’s susceptibility to climate change, attributing internal migration to phenomena like river erosion, floods, and cyclones. Emphasizing the need to confront climate-induced displacement, she reiterated the government’s pledge to furnish housing for climate refugees in Cox’s Bazar and institute infrastructure projects resilient to climate impacts.

Additionally, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasized the crucial task of safeguarding the rights and interests of migrants, advocating for collaborative efforts between host and source nations to uphold their socio-economic welfare. Bangladesh’s commitment to supporting migrants was exemplified through initiatives like offering loans without collateral and providing housing assistance to the homeless. Such measures underscored the nation’s dedication to fostering a conducive environment for migrants’ integration and prosperity.

Notable attendees at the meeting included PM’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah and Secretary of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry Md Ruhul Amin. Their presence emphasized the government’s collaborative stance in tackling migration challenges.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s engagement with the IOM mirrors Bangladesh’s proactive approach to addressing Rohingya assistance and broader migration management issues. Through a comprehensive strategy integrating funding diversification, relocation initiatives, and skill development programs, Bangladesh reaffirms its unwavering dedication to assisting vulnerable populations and fostering sustainable migration outcomes. This steadfast commitment underscores Bangladesh’s proactive role in addressing humanitarian crises and advancing global migration governance.


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