India hands over 250 new, prefabricated houses to Myanmar

Houses will be used by displaced returnees, government officials say

India has handed over 250 houses to displaced Muslim minorities currently residing in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, under the Rakhine State Development Programme (RSDP) for $25 million, for a period of five years.

According to a report by Asian News International (ANI), a Memorandum of Understanding on RSDP was signed between India and Myanmar in December 2017, aiming to contribute to the socio-economic development in the northern Rakhine State.

“India handed over 250 pre-fabricated houses for use of displaced returnees … at a ceremony in Maung Daw in Rakhine State,” Indian External Affairs Ministry (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar wrote on his official Twitter handle.

Saurabh Kumar, the Indian Ambassador to Myanmar, handed over the documents related to 250-fabricated houses for use of displaced returnees from Bangladesh to U Aung Kaw Zan, joint-chairman of Returnee Resettlement Work Committee and the Minister of Electricity, Industry and Transportation of Rakhine State Government, the MEA said in a statement.

“The construction of 250 houses was the first initiative under the RSDP and has been successfully completed. Another 22 proposals, which include solar power related projects, construction-related projects, agriculture mechanisation projects, and capacity building projects are presently under consideration,” the statement said.

Thousands of Rohingyas in Myanmar have fled to India and Bangladesh to seek refuge from rising violence against them, the ANI report said. Around 40,000 Rohingya refugees reside in India, having fled persecution in Myanmar. 16,000 of these refugees are registered with the United Nations Refugee Agency, it added.

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