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Japan and UNHCR Support Improvement of Access to Clean Water for Vulnerable Communities in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar [EN/BN]

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Dhaka, 1 March 2021

Yesterday, the Government of Japan and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, concluded an agreement which will provide approximately USD $10 million to support the improvement of water supply and distribution systems for Bangladeshi host communities and Rohingya refugees communities in Teknaf Upazila, Cox’s Bazar. The agreement was signed by Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, H. E. Mr. ITO Naoki and the UNHCR Bangladesh Assistant Representative, Ms. KASHIWA Fumiko, at the UNHCR Country Office in Dhaka.

Teknaf Upazila in Cox's Bazar has been facing challenges in ensuring safe access to water for the local population for many years. The situation became even more challenging following the influx of Rohingya forced to flee from Myanmar in recent years. This contribution will help to stabilize the water supply, and to improve the living conditions of both communities.

The project will be implemented over the course of three years, and carried out in close collaboration and under the guidance and leadership of the Bangladesh Government, including the Economic Relations Division (ERD), the Department of Public Health and Engineering (DPHE), the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MODMR) as well as the Deputy Commissioner (DC) in Cox’s Bazar.

“When the refugee influx began in August 2017, local Bangladeshi communities in Teknaf and Ukhiya Upazilas were the first responders, providing shelter, food, and water to those forced to flee. The Government and the people of Bangladesh continue to generously host this vulnerable population, until durable solutions can be found. UNHCR, with the support of the Government of Japan, is committed to supporting host communities as well as the Rohingya population, who need continued humanitarian assistance” said Ms. Kashiwa, UNHCR Assistant Representative to Bangladesh.

“I commend UNHCR for its successful implementation of assistance to Rohingya refugees so far, in cooperation with the Government of Bangladesh. Both host community and refugees will benefit from this project. I sincerely hope that this project will be able to improve access to water for the host community and refugees in Teknaf, and to contribute to the stable development of Bangladesh. Japan’s humanitarian assistance for these beneficiaries has reached USD$140 million and Japan will continue its support to Bangladesh, in the pursuit of Free and Open Indo- Pacific.” said Ambassador ITO Naoki.

Since the influx of refugees into Bangladesh began in August 2017, the Government of Japan has granted approximately USD $140 million to international organizations and NGOs to assist both Rohingya refugees, as well as the host communities. This includes the USD $10 million donated today to UNHCR.

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For additional information:

Japan Embassy, Bangladesh: Shinto Yasuharu, Counselor for Economic Affairs and Development Cooperation, Tel: 2222-60010

UNHCR Bangladesh: Louise Donovan, Communication Officer, donovan@unhcr.org; +880 1847327279