December 11, 2023, 9:41 pm

Abu Taher Bappa

2020-03-05 19:04:41 BdST

US gives $59m, EC €31m to tackle Rohingya crisis


The United States has announced more than $59 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh, and internally displaced Rohingya and members of other affected communities in Myanmar, said US Ambassador Robert Miller on Wednesday.

The announcement was made in response to the UN appeal for $877million humanitarian aid in Geneva on Tuesday.

"The United States remains the leading contributor to the humanitarian response as we have been each year since the outbreak of violence in August 2017. With this new funding, our total humanitarian assistance reaches almost $820 million, of which nearly $693 million is for programs inside Bangladesh" the ambassador told a briefing in the city.

US funding, including yesterday's announcement, helps address the emergency needs of more than 900,000 refugees in Bangladesh, as well as the needs of the Bangladeshi communities in Cox's Bazar affected by the ongoing crisis.

The ambassador said the US government remains committed to ensuring humanitarian and development assistance continues to reach Bangladeshi communities which have so generously hosted Rohingya refugees.

"We are proud the 2020 Joint Response Plan reflects an increased policy focus on their challenges" he added.

Urging others to contribute to the Rohingya response fund, he said, "The United States cannot meet this crisis' tremendous needs alone. We welcome the contributions many donors have made in recent months. We continue to call on other countries to contribute as well".

"We commend the Government of Bangladesh's generosity in responding to this crisis and its continued efforts to ensure assistance reaches the affected populations - both Rohingya and Bangladeshis."

The US urges Myanmar to create the conditions that would allow for voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable returns of Rohingya, based on the informed consent of those who have been forcibly displaced.

And, critically, to ensure unhindered and sustained humanitarian access to all people requiring assistance.

The European Commission (EC) is releasing €31 million in humanitarian aid to address the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic has said the Rohingya crisis is in its third year and it is more important than ever to maintain their support and not forget those that remain dependent on humanitarian aid to survive.

"We are committed to supporting both refugees and host communities in Cox's Bazar, as well as to the vulnerable Rohingya in Myanmar.

It will ensure that those most in need continue to receive life-saving assistance, while being protected from the effects of flood and other hazards", said the European Commissioner.

Out of the funding announced today, €18.5 million will help the most vulnerable groups among refugees and host communities in Bangladesh, according to the European Commission.

This will be done by providing critical health care, food assistance and education in emergencies.

Another €3.5 million will go towards building the local communities' capacities to prepare for and manage natural disasters.

In Myanmar, €6.5 million will focus on helping communities in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states by providing health care, nutrition, education and shelter.

Protection is also at the core of this support, with a specific focus on registration and documentation.

Another €2.5 million will boost the local preparedness system in case of conflict or natural disasters.

In 2019 alone, the European Union provided close to €27 million in humanitarian aid for vulnerable Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshis in Cox's Bazar and other parts of the country, as well as €9 million to address the immediate needs of displaced and conflict-affected communities in Myanmar.

September 2019 marked two years since the massive influx of over 700,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh, following violence in Northern Rakhine.

In total, almost 1 million refugees are living in camps in Cox's Bazar district and are fully reliant on humanitarian assistance.

Since 2017, the European Union has provided over €150 million in humanitarian aid to respond to the Rohingya crisis both in Myanmar and in Bangladesh.

This includes basic humanitarian assistance for Rohingya populations (both for those who have been living in displacement in Bangladesh for many years, and for the newly arrived), and host communities living close to the refugee settlements.

The EU provides shelters, health care, water and sanitation support, nutrition assistance, education, and protection services.

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