Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla hands over aid to Rohingya Refugees at Cox's bazar. Photograph:( WION )
India has extended more help to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh under the third phase of its programme. The Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla handed over 1.1 million litres of SKO or Super Kerosene Oil and 20,000 Kerosene Multi Wick Stoves to Bangladesh's Minister of Disaster Management & Relief Mofazzel Hussain Chowdhury at Cox’s Bazar. The wick stoves and the oil were distributed to Rohingya refugees at Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar. This is the third phase of humanitarian assistance from India to Bangladesh to help the Rohingyas who have been staying in camps after being forced to leave the Rakhine State of Myanmar.
Speaking on the occasion, Indian high commissioner said, "We understand the plight of the displaced persons and Bangladesh’s support to the displaced persons under trying circumstances deserves appreciation. I will also visit
some of the camps." Conveying that "India will continue to extend humanitarian assistance to support the Government of Bangladesh in its efforts to provide succour to the displaced persons" he said, "Our gesture of providing relief will continue beyond the third tranche."
The kerosene oil and stoves will address the energy needs of the displaced persons and contribute to environmental conservation in Bangladesh, by reducing demand for locally sourced firewood.
The 1st phase of Indian help started in September 2017 under ‘Operation Insaniyat’ and comprised of 981 metric tons of relief supplies. The relief material consisted of family packs of rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, tea, ready-to-eat noodles, biscuits, mosquito nets, etc to meet the immediate requirements of the approximately 3,00,000 Rohingyas refugees Bangladesh was hosting that time.
In May 2018, the 2nd phase of Indian assistance began with 373 Metric Tons (MT) of relief materials containing 104 MT milk powder, 102 MT dried fish 61 MT baby food 50,000 raincoats and 50,000 pairs of gumboots for the rainy season.
The Indian High Commissioner said, "India has always stood by Bangladesh in times of need" and the relationship is based on "trust, friendship and shared martyrdom that goes beyond strategic partnership."
Bangladesh has been hosting close to one million Rohingya refugees from the Rakhine State of Myanmar. This has put a strain on Bangladesh's resources and also its ties with neighbouring Myanmar.
India has also started construction of pre-fabricated houses in the Rakhine State in Myanmar. 250 of these pre-fabricated houses are nearing completion and foundation work has already started for 50 houses at a village called Kyein Chaung in Maungdaw district of Myanmar. These dwellings are intended to facilitate the return of displaced persons from Bangladesh.