A joint UNHCR and UNDP delegation led by the visiting UNHCR Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific and accompanied by the UNDP Country Director for Myanmar, travelled to Rakhine State from 2 to 4 July. It was the first visit to the area since the conclusion of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of Myanmar, UNDP and UNHCR. The MOU is aimed at creating conducive conditions for the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of refugees to Rakhine State, Myanmar.
The delegation met with Senior Government Officials in both Sittwe and Maungdaw Town, and also visited several villages representing all communities in both Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships. The purpose of the visits was to have initial consultations with different communities regarding their situation and discuss ways in which the government could improve their situation and resolve their underlying problems, including in terms of livelihoods, access to services, safety and security and how the agencies could support those efforts.
During his visit to Myanmar, the UNHCR Regional Director also held discussions with senior government officials in Naypyidaw. All parties agreed on the urgency of rapidly moving forward with the implementation of the tripartite MOU and to thereby make tangible progress on the ground.