Civil society groups based in Cox's Bazar have called on the international community to redouble efforts for quick repatriation of Rohingyas, saying Bangladesh is facing multiple challenges induced by climate change and Covid-19 pandemic.
The Cox's Bazar CSO NGO Forum (CCNF) made the observations at a virtual press conference today ahead of a donor's conference being co-hosted by the US, UK, European Union and UN Refugee Agency Thursday.
"For the last three years, local fishermen are almost failing to catch fish as the Rohingyas are involved in fishing. Thus, fishermen's income has dwindled in Teknaf," said Rashed Mohamad Ali, UP chairman of Hnila-2 in Teknaf.
Locals also used to go to the nearby forest areas to collect firewood but much of that has now vanished, he said.
Zahirul Alam, executive director of Integrated Development Foundation, said, "We want developed countries to work with Myanmar for early repatriation."
CCNF Co-chair Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said despite repeated demands over the last three years, UN and other INGOs have not been able to empower local NGOs nor reduce their cost of operations.
MUKTI Cox's Bazar CEO Bimal Dey Sarker said there is a serious lack of transparency in the utilisation of fund for the Rohingyas. According to Grand Bargain commitment, at least 25 percent of humanitarian assistance should be used for locals, but there is no accountability.