|The Courier N° 133 May-june 1992 - Dossier : Environment and Development - Country Reports - Côte d'Ivoire - Papua New Guinea (EC Courier, 1992)|
Community finances repatriation and resettlement of 'Boat People' in Vietnam
The Commission has decided to make an ECU 23.5 million contribution to the international programme of assistance for Vietnamese refugees as agreed in 1990 with the Vietnamese Government and in conjunction with the UN High Commission for Refugees.
The Community had already provided a first lot of financing (ECU 12.5 million) in 1991 for a pilot phase of this two and a half-year plan - which will cost an estimated ECU 102.5 million in all.
The idea is to help some 80 000 Vietnamese to return to their country safely and with dignity. These people are currently housed in camps in Hong Kong and the ASEAN countries and are requesting asylum, but they are not eligible for refugee status or, therefore, for permanent resettlement in a host country.
The 116000 people currently asking for asylum are spread over Hong Kong (62 500), Indonesia (19 500), Malaysia (12 500), Thailand (12 500) and the Philippines (7 500).
Repatriation will be assured under the aegis of the UNHCR, which guarantees the safety and dignity of the returnees in accordance with the global plan of action produced by the International Conference on Indochinese refugees in Geneva in June 1989.
The programme will make a significant contribution to the socio-economic reintegration of the repatriates in their country of origin by supplying direct technical assistance, expanding job creation in the regions concerned and improving living conditions and infrastructure in the host communities.
The Commission has decided to provide emergency aid amounting to ECU 500 000.
Intensified persecution of Muslims in Arkan, the only Muslim majority state in the mainly Buddhist Myanmar, has led to a sudden and unforeseen influx of more than 35 000 Muslims, known as Rohingyas, from Myanmar into South-Eastern Bangladesh. The aid is intended to help cater for this situation and for the humanitarian needs arising from it. It will go to financing the provision of relief supplies (food, blankets, tents, medicines, medical material, expatriate and local staff etc) and will be channelled through the Federation of Red Cross/Crescent Societies (ECU 160000) and Medecins sans Frontieres, France (ECU 340 000).