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The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday that its appeal to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh fell “well short of needs” as refugees urged donors not to overlook the plight ahead of the fifth anniversary of their departure from Myanmar.

More than a million Rohingya live in dismal camps in southern Bangladesh, making up the world’s largest refugee population, with little hope of ever returning to Myanmar, where they are largely denied citizenship and other rights.

“For the almost 1 million stateless Rohingya refugees, conditions in Bangladesh are extremely overcrowded, and they remain fully reliant on humanitarian assistance for their survival, UNHCR said.

According to a UNHCR statement, “The most commonly unmet needs include proper nutrition, shelter materials, sanitation facilities and livelihood opportunities,”

It stated that its response plan for 2022 sought more than $881 million for more than 1.4 million individuals, including Rohingya refugees and more than 500,000 most impacted host communities. So yet, it has gotten only 49% funding, totaling $426.2 million.

“The support from the international community has been and is crucial in delivering lifesaving protection and assistance services for Rohingya refugees but funding is well short of needs.”

Refugees stressed the need of not forgetting the situation of the Rohingya, who are unable to return to Myanmar yet have no future in Bangladesh due to a lack of employment opportunities.

“The global community should not forget our plight. “They should do everything they can to help us,” Mohammed Taher, a Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh, told Reuters.

“We are not allowed to work here. We must depend on aid agencies for food,” he added.

Before returning, the Rohingya say they want guarantees of safety and to be acknowledged as citizens. According to the UN, the conditions for return are not yet favorable.

During a military operation in 2017, the great majority fled to neighboring Bangladesh, which the UN stated was carried out with genocidal intent.

Myanmar denies genocide, claiming it was fighting militants who attacked police stations in a legitimate effort.

Myanmar is facing genocide allegations at the International Court of Justice in The Hague as a result of the bloodshed.

Source: Reuters

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