In a speech on the House floor introducing the resolution, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard stated, “Bangladesh is a country in turmoil. There are many concerns about the stability of the country, particularly since flawed elections were held last year, and the political violence that has ensued. I am particularly concerned over issues of religious freedom, and specifically, attacks against minority Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and others, in Bangladesh. All too often perpetrators of crimes against minorities go unpunished. It’s up to the government of Bangladesh to take action to stop those who incite and commit violence and protect the rights of these minorities. [This resolution] calls on the government of Bangladesh to protect the human rights of all its citizens, particularly its vulnerable minorities, strengthen democratic institutions and rule of law, and prevent the growth of extremist groups.”
United Nations World Food Programme in Bangladesh said it welcomed a new contribution of $50,000 from Vietnam to support operations in Coxs Bazar – home to nearly one million Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar.
“We are very grateful to Vietnam for stepping up to assist people living in Cox’s Bazar refugee camps,” said Richard Ragan, WFP Representative and Country Director, in a statement.
“This remains a serious humanitarian emergency, and continued support from the international community is vital if we are to keep providing the humanitarian assistance that is so badly needed.”
Vietnam’s new aid was announced by the Special Envoy of Prime Minister, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Nguyen Quoc Dzung, during a visit to Bangladesh, according to WPF.
“Although this is a modest contribution, we are hopeful that our support will advance the response to this crisis situation,” he said.
Vietnam joins dozens of other states who have pledged their support to the Cox’s Bazar response since the August 2017 refugee influx, said WFP, which provides food assistance to more than 870,000 refugees per month at the sprawling refugee settlement.
The UN agency also provides nutritional and livelihood support to the host community at Cox’s Bazaar, with the aim of helping the most vulnerable, WFP said.
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Sustained aid from nations is necessary to continue WFP operations in Bangladesh, the UN agency warned.
Over 750,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Cox’s Bazar since August 2017 to escape persecution and violence by Myanmar’s military in Northern Rakhine State. Thousands of other Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh during previous periods of repression in Myanmar. (IANS)