41 NGOs withdraw from Rohingya Refugee camps

41 non-government organizations have withdrawn from the Rohingya Refgee camps in Cox’s Bazar for their ‘misdoings’, according to Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen, who made the comment while talking to journalists after inaugurating the Medical Waste Management Process at Lalmatia in Sylhet city on August 31, 2019.

NGO processing the project with wrongful activities

139 NGOs were active in the Rohingya camps, but all programs of 41 of them have been suspended on charges of their involvement in various unapproved activities in the camp areas, the Foreign Minister said.

The NGOs brought funds from foreign countries to help the Rohingyas, and thus Bangladesh also benefited, but problems ensued when the foreign funds were not spent in the proper way and the NGOs got involved in wrongdoings in the Rohingya camp area, the Foreign minister said.

“Several NGOs are engaged in misdoings until now. Steps will be taken against them and many of the organizations are lobbying for action not to be taken against them,” the minister said.

The NGO Affairs Bureau suspended six different projects being run out of the Cox’s Bazar NGO branch called Mukti on August 28, due to allegations that sharp weeding tools were being distributed among Rohingyas. Some 600 of these tools were allegedly distributed.

An official suspension order signed by the Assignment Officer of the NGO Affairs Bureau Sirajul Islam Khan was issued on August 28.

Similarly, the government has banned the activities of two more NGOs – Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Bangladesh and Al-Markazul Islami — for providing financial assistance for the 25 August rally of Rohingyas and campaigning against the Rohingya repatriation, according to Mohammad Ashraful Afar, the additional deputy Commissioner (Revenue) on September 4,2019. The NGO bureau affairs, issued the order not to operate their actives.

The bureau had earlier halted operations of six NGOs working for the refugees. These are Islamic Relief, Islamic Aid, Muslim Aid, Small Kindness Bangladesh, Bangladesh Chashi Kalyan Samity, and Nomijan Asthabi Foundation.

On August 29, the Foreign Minister said specific measures will be taken against the NGOs operating in Rohingya camps if evidence is discovered about wrongful activities.

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