Photo by Reuters

U.N. officials signed a deal with Bangladesh on Saturday to help provide essential services to thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees who have been moved to camps on a remote island in the Bay of Bengal.

Iran PressAsia: The Bangladeshi government has moved nearly 19,000 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char island from border camps, Reuters reported.

Authorities in the densely populated South Asian country eventually want the island to accommodate about 10% of the 1 million Rohingya refugees who currently live in border camps.

UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, said the agreement signed on Saturday allowed for close cooperation with the government on providing services for the island’s growing refugee population.

“These cover key areas of protection, education, skills-training, livelihoods and health, which will help support the refugees to lead decent lives on the island and better prepare them for sustainable return to Myanmar in the future,” a UNHCR statement said.

About 81,000 Rohingya should be living on the island within three months, Mohammad Mohsin, a senior official at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, told reporters after singing the accord.

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The UNHCR said it "had the opportunity to talk to a large group of refugees, predominantly young men", adding they had raised concerns about a lack of access to jobs and education. It said in a statement it was "deeply concerned" to learn of injuries.


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