Today Cox’s Bazar CSO NGO Forum (CCNF) a network of 50 local NGOs working in Cox’s Bazar has organized a virtual seminar on the eve of World Humanitarian Day title “Respect to the front line workers of COVID 19, Solidarity and Diversity.” Speakers of the virtual seminar urged that, UN agencies, International NGOs and the government should redouble effort on political mobilization for dignified return of Rohingya refugees, international agencies should give their effort in their own capitals. Speakers also said that, Bangladesh already suffering out of multifaceted problems including climate catastrophes, COVID 19 and floods, especially in the Cox’s Bazar district. Chief Guest Mr. Rashedul Islam the Director General said that dignified return of Myanmar nationals is the best response to the humanitarianism. He also appreciated the effort of local NGOs and sacrifice of front line workers in COVID 19.
The virtual seminar was Chair by Mr. Ashraful Afsar Additional Deputy Commissioner Cox’s Bazar; Mr. Rahsedul Islam Director General, NGO Affairs Bureau, Prime Minister Office was attended as the Chief Guest. Mr. Ajmat Ulla Country Representative IFRC attended as the Guest of Honor, while Mr Shamsuddoha Additional RRRC, Mr. Kefayet from UNHCR, Dr. Samir Halder from IoM and Mr Saikat from ISCG (Inter Sectoral Coordination Group) has participated as Guests. The seminar was moderated by Mr. Abu Morshed Chowdhury and Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury Co-Chairs CCNF have moderated the seminar.
Eight local front line workers, namely Afroza Sumi, Shafiul Sweet, Sanjida Akhi, Aloka, Zahangir Alam, and Huree Jannat has narrated their personal stories on experiences on COVID 19. It is reported that around 129 NGOs, 16000 workers are there in Cox’s Bazar Rohingya response where around 1000 front line workers were infected by COVID 19. Whole audiences of the meeting shown great respect to them including Rohingya and Host Community volunteers, along with doctors and nurses who still working to save life.
Local NGO leaders Mr. Sheuly Sharma of Jago Nari urged more funding priority to local NGOs as they are the first responders. Mr. Arifur Rahman of YPSA, requested to international agencies to respect principle of partnership i.e. equal treatment to local NGOs. Mr. Abdullah Al Mamun of Meghna Foundation said that in respect of capacity it should be capacity exchange. Mr. Tariqul of ACLAB requested local NGO access and participation in Rohingya response management. Mr. Bimol of Mukti urged for project approval should be at least for 12 months. Mr. Abul Kashem of HELP narrated the flight of locals of UKhiya and Teknaf, they are outnumbered and economic and social crisis is deepening. Mr. Neleema Akhter of Agrajatra said that, local people are in frustration as not see much progress in political front, she urged to government and international agencies redouble effort for dignified repatriation of Rohingya refugees rather than giving effort for fund raising for humanitarian response.
The moderators Mr Abu Morshed Chowdhury and Mr Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, have appreciated the help from international agencies especially UNHCR and IoM for helping local administration in COVID 19 response. UNHCR, govt. and other humanitarian partners has so far established 12 COVID19 treatment centers with 650 beds. UNHCR has also provided 10 ICU and 8 high dependency beds with all facilities to the Cox’s Bazar Sadar hospital. An inclusive approach helped to keep the infection rate control in both Rohingya response and also in host community- they opined.
Related Document [Bangla Press Release] [English Press Release]
Local Heroes – Solidarity and Diversity [English] [Bangla]
COVID-19 Heroes in Rohingya Response: a CCNF Production [Video]
Cox’s Bazar CSO NGO Forum: Established on September 2017 [Video]