Yesterday, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, Thomas Andrews said, Rohingya refugees humanitarian program is “woefully underfunded” resulting in cutbacks to critical projects.
Andrews who is the former member of the US Congress from Maine, currently ended his 10-day trip to Japan.
The UN expert said, The World Food Program (WFP) had to cut rations for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh by 17 percent because of a shortage of funds in March.
“This is an emergency. Further cuts will leave the Rohingya, already victims of genocidal attacks in Myanmar, at risk of starvation and drive thousands into boats and dangerous land routes in utter desperation,” Andrews warned.
“I am asking every member state of the United Nations to consider what resources can be redirected to assistance for the Rohingya,” he added.
Rohingyas are mostly unemployed and faces movement restrictions depends on foreign aids. “They are almost completely dependent on these food rations. Even before these cuts were imposed, food rations for the Rohingya were insufficient and the situation for Rohingya refugees was dire,” Andrews added.
He pointed out that over 40 percent of Rohingya children had stunted growth, and over half were anemic. He said that UN officials informed him that food rations for the Rohingya in the Bangladesh camps would likely need to be cut by an additional 20 percent because of a severe lack of funding.
“This will reduce food rations for each individual in the camps to $0.27 per day. Try surviving on $0.27 per day.” Andrews warned that hundreds of thousands might need to be dropped from the program entirely.
“Leaving the Rohingya refugees — already victims of genocidal attacks and decades of persecution—to face starvation and yet more violence is unconscionable.”
He said the food ration cuts and the suffering it would cause “are a stain on the conscience of the international community.”
Moreover, the UN expert called on Japan to impose targeted economic sanctions on the Myanmar Military and its key sources of funding, just as it is doing in response to the crisis in Ukraine.