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'Remove restrictions on NGOs, CSOs working with Rohingyas'

December 18, 2017 00:00:00

Cox's Bazar-based CSO-NGO Forum (CCNF) demanded on Sunday the reinstatement of legal one stop service of the NGO Bureau and also to drop unnecessary complications with regard to their work, reports UNB.

CCNF is a local platform consisting of local NGOs and civil society organisations (CSOs), which have been engaged in Cox's Bazar providing the displaced Rohingya refugees with emergency humanitarian assistance.

Due to recent government's instructions for security clearance from Home and Foreign Ministry since the middle of November, all the projects related to Rohingya emergency humanitarian assistance are being delayed and in limbo still, they said at a press conference held at the National Press Club in the city on Sunday.

Moderated by Executive Director of COAST Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, who is also a Co-Chair of the CCNF, the press conference was also addressed by Abu Morshed Chowdhury, another Co Chair and Executive Director PHALS, AKM Jashim Uddin, Director ADAB (Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh) and Nazer Ahmed, Executive Director, ISDE.

In his speech, Abu Morshed Chowdhury said that if government's recent instructions for security clearance continue, health services provided by NGOs in Rohingya camps will be in jeopardy as the local organisations have to withdraw operation by the end of December.

AKM Jashimuddin said that there is no evidence that registered NGOs have been involved in spreading fundamentalist propaganda till now, while they have a good track record of promoting the four principles of liberation war, especially secularism.

If NGOs are withdrawn then the whole operation will be monopolised by UN agencies that are now being criticised for costly emergency operations. For example, there are around 1,000 foreign expatriates working now in Cox's Bazar, if they spend per day $300 (their standard per diem), then it is a per day cost of Tk 2.40 crore, the Forum claimed.

Moderator Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said there is evidence that donors are withdrawing their letters of intent of funding and do not want to place the fund due to such delay and complications.

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