Refugees protest against cuts in UN support

Apr 2, 2009 (DVB), A Burmese refugee family staged hunger strike outside a United Nations office in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka earlier this week in protest against the UN decision to halt financial support to families.

The family, who brought with them their two-year-old son, held the hunger strike in front of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees office on 30 and 31 March.

It was prompted by the announcement on 25 March that the UNHCR office in Dhaka was cutting support, including for child education and healthcare, to Burmese refugees.

"We wrote a letter to UNHCR representatives saying that we are facing many kinds of problems due to the [financial] cuts and they gave us no response," said Tin Tin Win, the mother of the family.

"We were also intimidated by various means. We have applied for the resettlement for over a month, but no answer was given," she said.

The UNHCR office eventually promised to provide 9,000 taka ($US130) a month to the family. Previously, their monthly support sum had been 30,000 taka.

Reporting by Naw Noreen

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