Transparency in aid distribution among Rohingyas stressed26 November 2018
A dialogue titled Rohingya Response and Grand Bargain Commitments: Aid Transparency and Solidarity Approach was organised by Cox\'s Bazar NGO CSO Forum (CCNF), a network of 42 local and national NGOs and CSOs working with Rohingya relief along with COAS
In the dialogue NGO and CSOs expressed dismay on UN- led JRP preparation and present coordination process and they demanded full transparency of Rohingya Aid and participation of locals in response planning as UN agencies have given commitment in Grand Bargain agreement. OXFAM has given financial support to arrange this dialogue.
The dialogue is jointly moderated by Abu Morshed Chowdhury and Rezaull Karim Chowdhury of CCNF. Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mr Abul Kalam addressed the dialogue as the Chief Guest. Other speakers are Annika Sudland Senior Advisor and Baars Margo, Advisor of ISCG (Inter Sectoral Coordination Group), Anita Kattakuzhy of Oxfam International and member of Global Localization Working Group. Mr. Mujibul Haque Munir of COAST presented the keynote presentation based on the results of a study on localization in Rohingya response.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury and Abu Murshed Chowdhury pointed out in their separate presentations that, there are hardly any transparency and accountability of the $682 million fund received by UN agencies as well as the fund received by International NGOs for Rohingya relief. To cope with the future dwindling situation of aid, they also demanded a full public review and transparency of past JRP 2018 and other funds in future. Organizers CCNF and COAST also demanded for an enabling environment to ensure more inclusion e.g. introduction of Bangla language and more involvement of local NGOs, local CSOs, local government and district officials in the planning process. They also said, the objective is to ensure the best possible human dignity of Rohingya refugee through the whole of society approach until repatriation. They also raised question on the necessity of 1,295 foreign expatriates and using around 550 vehicle in the relief operation. Mujibul Huq Munir said in his presentation that, according to JRP 2018 received 57,000 Taka per head of Rohingya refugee but how much is spent per head?
Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mr Abul Kalam said in his speech, we can't prepare an imaginary list of the necessity of the Rohingyas or the host community. We have to ensure the bottom-up approach to bring the voice from the grassroots. He added, Bangladesh Government's policy for repatriation was voluntary basis. Since no Rohingya family found interested to go back to their homeland, we never forced them.
Abu Morshed Chowdhury of CCNF in his presentation mentioned that, there should be a full and public review of JRP 2018. There is a little implementation of Grand Bargain or localization commitment in it and that must be addressed in JRP 2019. He also mentioned that the coordination should have the full government authority and it should be based on bottom up need assessment and inclusive.
Annika Sudland, Senior Advisor of ISCG said in her speech, we want to work with everyone for the JRP 2019 under the leadership of the government so that everyone knows what everyone is doing. She added, so far 72% of the JRP 2018 is received. She also mentioned that, we need to explore the economic opportunity of the 1 million refugee instead of considering them as burden, as it might contribute to the local economy.
Anita Kattakuzhy of Oxfam International and member of Global Grand Bargain Localization team said, requested UN agencies and INGOs to prepare localization road map as it was suggested field visit mission report. She said, the INGOs still have limitation in understanding the localization process of Grand Bargain commitment. Local organizations understand it better than them. She suggests the UN agencies and INGOs should sit on the 18 point demands provided by CCNF and declare their actions according to that.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said, we have been bringing this localization issues for a long time. Some progress is already manifested. We expect the International organizations will consider the points we have brought from the grassroots.