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BURMA: memorandum on repatriation

Subject: BURMA: memorandum on repatriation

/* Written  4:12 pm  Nov 11, 1993 by wrts@xxxxxxxxxxx in igc:reg.seasia */
/* ---------- "BURMA: memorandum on repatriation" ---------- */
[the following was issued by the Information Section of the UNHCR 
 on 5 November 1993.]

     A Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the
Union of Myanmar and UNHCR was signed on 5 November 1993, in
Yangon.  The Director General of the Department of Immigration and
Manpower, U Maung Aung singed the MOU on behalf of the Government
and Mr. W. Blatter, Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and Oceania,
UNHCR, Geneva, on behalf of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees.  The signing of the MOU marks a milestone in the
voluntary repatriation programme from Bangladesh.  It is the result
of an agreement reached during the visit to Myanmar of Mrs. Sadako
Ogata, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in July
of this year.

     The MOU stipulates the modalities of UNHCR's presence and
programmes in the Rakhine State.  It states, interalia, that UNHCR
will be given access to all returnees; that the returnees will be
issued with the appropriate identification papers and that the
returnees will enjoy the same freedom of movement as all other

     The voluntary repatriation programme has the following

     1.   The movement phase, during which the necessary    
          infrastructure will be put into place to facilitate the
          reception of a larger number of returnees.

     2.   Initial assistance in the villages of origin.  In
          addition in relief items such as household goods and
          construction materials (bamboo), the returnees will also
          receive food assistance for two months, provided by WFP.

     3.   The Reintegration phase: to enhance the economic and
          social stability of the returnees, community level
          projects in the fields of agriculture, health, water and
          sanitation and education will be implemented with the
          respective technical departments which will also benefit
          the surrounding population.  Close coordination will be
          maintained with UNDP and other UN agencies such as UNICEF
          and WHO; this is in order to avoid any overlapping and to
          assure the continuum from relief to development.

     UNHCR will in the coming weeks seek the financial support of
the International Community to implement this important voluntary
repatriation programme from Bangladesh to Myanmar.