Mar 9, 2008

UNHCR Dhaka Office Issues New IDs to Urban Refugees

Sunday,09 Mar,2008
UNHCR Dhaka Office Issues New IDs to Urban Refugees
Dhaka: The UNHCR Dhaka office has been issuing new five-year identification cards to Burmese urban refugees in Bangladesh since 5 March, 2008, said one Arakanese refugee.
He said, "The UNHCR official issued me a new ID card on Wednesday, but the card is different from the previous one because it is nicer and is also good for five years."
Previously, the UNHCR office in Dhaka issued only one-year ID cards to urban Burmese refugees, requiring the refugees to visit the office in Dhaka to obtain a new card on a yearly basis, and incur the costs of traveling to the capital.
"I heard that is being issued by the UNHCR for better refugee security, and it is also arranged for urban refugees who are staying in rural areas. Some refugees in rural areas of Bangladesh are unable to come to Dhaka to change their ID cards yearly because of lack of funds for the traveling expense," he said.
After issuing the five-year ID cards, Burmese refugees will not need to visit the Dhaka office in person every year to renew their cards.
UNHCR officials first issued the new ID cards to urban refugees in the Cox's Bazar area near the Burmese border.
There are over 200 urban Burmese refugees in Bangladesh; most are Arakanese and Chin nationals who are fleeing from oppression in Burma and are living throughout Bangladesh outside of any refugee camps. #

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