Bangladesh urged to lift ban on NGOs helping Myanmar refugeesListen /
Authorities in Bangladesh have been urged to allow non-governmental organizations to continue helping thousands of people who fled Myanmar to the south-eastern part of the country.
The appeal has come from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) following the banning of three NGOs from helping unregistered people in unofficial camps near Cox's Bazar.
UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards says that last Thursday the government ordered Médecins Sans Frontières, Action Contre La Faim and Muslim Aid UK to stop their activities in that area.
"If the order is implemented, it will have a serious humanitarian impact on some 40,000 unregistered people who had fled Myanmar in recent years and settled in the Leda and Kutupalong makeshift sites. Local villagers nearby will also be affected as they, too, have been benefiting from basic services provided by the NGOs. UNHCR is urging the Government of
Bangladesh to reconsider its decision in line with its long tradition of hospitality towards people who have fled Myanmar over the years."
UNHCR says that in addition to the unregistered population, there are approximately 30,000 registered people living in two official camps in Cox's Bazar.