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Protecting Rohingyas during cyclone, rains absolute priority: Swiss President

Abrar Hussain

Switzer-land has urged to emphasise on preparedness to avoid disaster in Rohingya camps and protect vulnerable groups during the impending cyclone and rainy season. “Protecting those in need is the absolute priority. I am also worried about the impending cyclone and rainy season,” Swiss President Alain Berset told UNB in an interview yesterday, hours before concluding his four-day official visit to Bangladesh.He said that the needs in the camps are still enormous according to what he observed during his visit to Kutupalong camp. The Swiss President called on all humanitarian and development workers present in Bangladesh to extend their programmes to refugees and to coordinate their activities with the Bangladesh government. “Switzerland underlines the need for any return of refugees to Myanmar to be voluntary, safe and dignified”, he said, claiming that the agreement on repatriation between Bangladesh and Myanmar is a positive step towards solving the current crisis. “In order to address this crisis, we have increased our humanitarian commitment to Bangladesh by an additional 12 million Swiss francs after having committed 8 million francs in 2017”, he said. The Swiss President said he had two main objectives – to establish closer relations between Bangladesh and Switzerland and to express solidarity with Bangladesh at a time when it is severely affected by the crisis in Myanmar.

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