The United Nations estimates that the Muslims of Rohingya who are taking refuge in Bangladesh will need up to $200m in the next 6 months.

Bangladeshi authorities and humanitarian organisations are struggling to help the 422,000 Rohingya Muslims who have arrived since August 25 when attacks by a Rohingya militant group brought about a counterinsurgency from Myanmar authorities, a move labelled by the United Nations as “ethnic cleansing.”

Bangladesh had been a home for Rohingya muslims who are a minority in a largely Buddhist Myanmar. The United Nations has appealed for $78m on September 9, 2017 but there has been an influx of more refugees, thereby raising the amount needed to keep them in shape.

“Right now, we’re looking at $200 million,” UN Resident Coordinator told Reuters in an interview in his office in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh on Friday.

“It has not been confirmed, but it is a ballpark figure based on the estimates on the information we have,” he said, adding that would be for six months.

“We base these appeals on immediate needs, and right now we know they’re going to be here for six months.”

Meanwhile, the Myanmar authorities have denied undergoing an ethnic cleansing with claims of just proving enough opposition for the insurgents of the Arakhan Rohingya Salvation Army who claimed responsibility for attacks on about 30 Police Posts and army camp on August 25.

The insurgents are also said to be behind similar smaller attacks in October last year that led to that led to an unsavoury Army response, which caused the exodus of over 87,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh.

Watkins further informed that the exodus witnessed from Rohingya since August 25 is much more than that witnessed at the turn of the ethnic cleansing which happened in Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

“It’s different from that here because the numbers are so much bigger … massive numbers in such a short period of time,” he claimed.

The monsoon rains have made the roads very difficult to ply making aids get to Rohingya quite late but informed they are working with Bangladeshi authorities to build new roads. He further said there were no plans for an exact number of people as the situation wasn’t stable yet and there hasn’t been a set period of time for the provision of the aids and relief programmes.

We don’t want to plan a 10-year operation, obviously, because we want to maintain hope that there will be a way for negotiating a return of the population,” he said.

“We can’t plan too far in the future because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. On the one hand, politically, it sends a strong signal, which we don’t want to send, which is that people are going to be here for a long time.

“And our donors are not prepared to respond to anything beyond a one-year time frame given the massive amounts of money we are asking for.”

Rohingya are regarded as illegal immigrants and they have no state in Myanmar.

Myanmar leader, Sung San Sun Kyi said this week Myanmar was ready to start a process with Bangladesh under which anyone verified as a refugee will be accepted back with no qualms, “without any problem” as he tagged it.

Many Rohingya are not in favour of going back home owing to their lack of papers for residency.


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