Bangladesh questions motive, spending of foreign NGOs on staff working for Rohingyas

The government has questioned the motive of the foreign NGOs working in Bangladesh for Rohingyas pointing out the huge spending on their officials.

Published : 13 March 2019, 01:54 PM
Updated : 13 March 2019, 02:25 PM

These NGOs spend three-fourths of their funds allocated for the refugees to pay for expenses of their officials visiting Bangladesh, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq says.

“You will be surprised to know that they have paid more than Tk 1.5 billion in hotel bills and more than Tk 80 million in flat rents since September (last year),” he told the media after a meeting of the cabinet committee on law enforcement on Wednesday.  

“They spend 75 percent of the money on expenses of those who come to take care of the Rohingyas,” the minister said.

The government received “some allegations” against the NGOs and has asked the intelligence agencies to look into the allegations, said Huq, who also heads the committee.

Many of the NGOs were operating with “ill motive”, he said, citing intelligence reports.

File Photo: A family of Rohingya refugees at the makeshift camp on Balukhali Hill in Cox's Bazar's Ukhia. Photo: mostafigur rahman

When his attention was drawn to the concerns of the UN and many other organisations over efforts to relocate some of the over 1 million Myanmar refugees from Cox’s Bazar to the island of Bhasan Char, the minister said the government was “trying its best” to start the relocation within Apr 15.

The government’s duty is to shelter the Rohingyas and ensure their security, food and other humanitarian needs, the minister pointed out.

Foreigners are not supposed to be concerned about where the government will keep the refugees, but whether the refugees are living inhumane lives without education and healthcare, he said.

“The government will of course consider their concerns about (relocation) issue. But it’s Bangladesh’s own issue,” he added.

Home Minister Md Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, Law Minister Anisul Huq and top officials of different agencies were present.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher