The EU has made an additional €24 million available to support vulnerable Rohingya refugee communities and host groups in Bangladesh.
The new funding brings the EU’s total financial assistance to Rohingya causes in Bangladesh and Myanmar to €139 million – including €94 million in humanitarian aid – since August 2017, when ethnic cleansing efforts against Rohingya by the Burmese military drove around 700,000 refugees across the border into Bangladesh. This exodus brought the total number of Rohingya living in Bangladeshi refugee camps to nearly a million; between refugees and host communities, the United Nations has stated around 1.2 million people are in need of aid in the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh, which has seen its population nearly triple.
Of the funding announced today, €19 million will be directed towards Rohingya refugees in the Cox’s Bazar camp, described in a statement by the European Commission as an “extremely congested mega-camp”; and will go towards providing healthcare, nutrition and food security, sanitation and water; and education for those who need it. A further €5 million will be allocated to community efforts to prepare for natural disasters and protect the camp against other hazards.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: “The humanitarian community and the government of Bangladesh have responded with true solidarity to the plight of the Rohingya refugees. Our collective efforts have saved countless lives since the crisis began over a year ago. Yet we cannot stop now as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya rely on humanitarian aid to survive. This is why we are stepping up our EU support. We will stand by those most in need for as long as it takes.”
The EU has issued a call for “safe, dignified, sustainable” return of the Rohingya people to their homes where this is possible and wholly voluntary, invoking the involvement of the United Nations Court of Human Rights to guarantee such returns would be in accordance with international law.