UNHCR stops food aid to 23 Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar

Published : 06 Jun 2023 09:25 PM

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has stopped providing food assistance to 23 Rohingya people belonging to four families in Cox’s Bazar.

Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Md Mizanur Rahman confirmed the matter saying that their food aid had been stopped since Monday morning.

‘These 23 Rohingyas of four families have agreed over repatriation under a pilot project. Their food has been stopped since Monday morning. But UNHCR did not disclose why the food aid has been stopped,’ he said. These Rohingyas are being provided with food assistance in an alternative way, he added.

When contacted, Ikhtiyar Uddin Bayezid, deputy head of UNHCR’s Cox’s Bazar office, said that the higher officials can say the reason behind the discontinuation of the food assistance.

Bangladesh and Myanmar recently decided to undertake a pilot repatriation project under which a group of verified Myanmar nationals will return to their country of origin in the first batch. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State are currently ‘not conducive’ to the sustainable return of Rohingya refugees.

‘UNHCR’s position on returns of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar remains unchanged,’ said the UN agency sharing its assessment.

The UN agency said it is aware of the visit of a Myanmar delegation to Bangladesh to meet with a group of Rohingyas — on a bilateral pilot project between the two countries on possible repatriation.

‘UNHCR is not involved in these discussions,’ it said in a statement on Bangladesh, Myanmar pilot project on Rohingya returns. The statement was shared by the UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific on March 19.