Note to readers: You might want to read my previous post on Rohingya before reading this one.
Apparently the UNHCR has started another program to help refugees flowing into Bangladesh find a useful livelihood. This article in Naranjara* discusses so-called urban refugees. I suspect many of these are Rohingya (Burmese Muslims).
Dhaka: UNHCR officials in Bangladesh met with urban refugees in Dhaka on Thursday to explain their plans for programs for urban refugees in Bangladesh.
UNHCR Protection Officer Jelvas Musau told the urban refugees about the agency’s future plans, including a training program, and invited the urban refugees to apply for the training.
Refugee attendees complained, what’s the use in being trained, there are no jobs in Bangladesh anyway.
Previously the UN had given them cash up front to start businesses. I guess you can figure out how well that succeeded.
Many urban refugees are suffering from a shortage of livelihood opportunities in Bangladesh. The UNHCR also had implemented a program for refugees called the “Lump-sum” program, whereby urban refugees were given seed money to set up businesses in rural areas of Bangladesh.
However, most of the refugee projects failed. Afterwards, refugees were unwilling to undertake business plans in Bangladesh.
Perhaps this is the explanation for why new undocumented refugees are showing up in Rohingya camps.
Bangladesh has been building camps for refugees to manage the resettlement process, and 500 Burmese Muslim refugees have been given the opportunity to resettle in Canada and Australia, but the urban refugees in Bangladesh are not included in this quota.
*Naranjara according to its webpage:
Narinjara News (NN) was founded by a group of Arakanese in exile in Bangladesh from Burma in 2001 seeking to voice for the people depriving of human and democratic rights and to pave the way for them who are struggling for those rights.
Learn more about Arakan here.