Press release: Patron for the Danish Refugee Council, the Crown Princess of Denmark, visits Rohingya camps
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark is currently visiting Bangladesh with a climate sustainability agenda. On Tuesday 26 April 2022, she went to meet Rohingya in the world’s largest complex for displaced people, hosted in Cox's Bazar to see the work of DRC.
Crown Princess Mary, Patron for the DRC since 2005, was accompanied by Flemming Møller Mortensen, the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, and Winnie Estrup Petersen, the Ambassador of Denmark to Bangladesh. In Cox’s Bazar, the delegation was received by Md. Mamunur Rashid, Deputy Commissioner of Cox's Bazar in southeast Bangladesh on the border to Myanmar.
During the visit to Cox’s Bazar and the camps that by now host close to one million Rohingya from neighboring Myanmar – thereby being the world’s largest camp complex for displaced people – the delegation was joined by Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, Shah Rezwan Hayat, and went to several of the 34 settlements. There, they saw examples of DRC's soil erosion management and environmental restoration works in Camp 5, 6, and 8 West.
The Danish Crown Princess met and interacted with Rohingya families to learn about their situation and experiences in Bangladesh, speaking particularly with the women and children about their living conditions, humanitarian needs and concerns.
While in the camps, the distinguished visitors exchanged greetings with Bangladeshi Camp Officials and walked through landslide-prone areas where soil retention where geo-textile and bamboo fencing are among the recent and environment-friendly land stabilization solutions. Here, also large-scale tree plantation has been implemented by DRC to combat consequences of monsoon rains and effects of climate change. During the visit to the camps, the delegation was joined by DRC Regional Director for Asia, Mikkel Rindorf Trolle, DRC Bangladesh Country Director, Sumitra Mukherjee and her team of technical experts.
Following their tour through the Rohingya camps, Crown Princess Mary and the delegation went to Raja Palong Union in Ukhiya sub-district to meet host communities and see DRC initiatives there. A meeting with a women’s group from Raja Palong offered a unique opportunity for the visitors to learn about the role and experiences of communities hosting the displaced Rohingya populations. The local citizens talked about their daily lives and livelihood challenges, and what DRC does to support and build positive relations between the displaced Rohingya and their local Bangladeshi host communities.
'We are truly honored by the visit of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary, Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Flemming Møller Mortensen, and the Danish Ambassador, Winnie Estrup Petersen. This has been a great encouragement to DRC, and to the entire humanitarian community here in Cox's Bazar. We see this as a historical day and also an opportunity to reinforce our commitment and thank the Government of Bangladesh for sustaining and strengthening support to the destitute Rohingya people. They depend on the critical investment in the joint emergency response that is delivered to respond to the growing humanitarian needs from this crisis,' says Sumitra Mukherjee, Country Director, DRC Bangladesh.