Joint statement from Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States following their visit to the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

Joint statement from Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States following their visit to the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Joint statement from Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States following their visit to the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

This statement was issued by the governments of Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

Joint statement from Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States following their visit to the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

To the Rohingya refugees: we do not forget you

As representatives of donor governments, we highlight the urgent need for sustained international support to protect and save the lives of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. This crisis is now in its seventh year and the needs of this vulnerable population are as great as ever. Yet funding from the international community has declined significantly.

For 2023 alone, the Joint Response Plan received 6% less funding than the previous year, corresponding to a funding gap of US$301 million. This reduction in funding has resulted in painful adjustments to aid programs, including reductions in food rations, exacerbating food insecurity and making refugees more vulnerable to exploitation.

We thank Bangladesh for generously hosting one million refugees. However, it is imperative that we take steps to ensure that Rohingya refugees and host communities receive the support and protection they deserve. As we saw during our visit, the Rohingya are bearing the brunt of dwindling humanitarian resources, even though nearly half a million of them will soon be exposed to harsh climatic conditions as we approach of the fire season and the monsoon.

If funding remains insufficient, more than 150,000 people will not be able to receive essential services: food, drinking water, shelter, protection and health care. Additionally, in the absence of liquefied petroleum gas, almost 100,000 households will likely be forced to collect firewood, meaning 14,000 tonnes of firewood will be extracted each month in the region, leading to deforestation and negative effects on the environment.

We can and must reverse this trend.

Under the leadership of the Government of Bangladesh, lifesaving assistance continues to be provided to one million Rohingya refugees and some 346,000 Bangladeshis. Initiatives to promote the self-reliance and livelihoods of the Rohingya are essential to reduce their total dependence on aid, for their well-being and that of their host communities.

For a more sustainable humanitarian response, the international community must support the Joint Response Plan 2024, which aims to raise US$852.4 million to help 1.35 million people, including Rohingya refugees and vulnerable Bangladeshis. This represents 630 US dollars per person.

In conclusion, we reaffirm our support for Bangladesh and those in need. We also reaffirm our support for our humanitarian partners, on the front line in implementing the plan. We call on other governments and partners to join us in providing the necessary funding and assistance to ensure the protection and well-being of those most affected and to address the root causes of the crisis.

The Rohingya crisis must not be forgotten.

Following their visit to Cox’s Bazar, the following governments announced their contributions and support under the IOM Appeal and Joint Response Plan 2024 for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis:

  • The United States announced a contribution of US$7.6 million
  • Japan has already contributed US$2.6 million
  • Norway announced a contribution of 6.5 million Norwegian crowns

The following countries have expressed political support for this Joint Statement and the 2024 Joint Response Plan to the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis:

  • Sweden
  • Swiss
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