EU allocates €31 million addressing Rohingya crisis

United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka | Published: 15:21, Mar 04,2020


Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar wait to be let through by Bangladeshi border guards after crossing the border in Palang Khali, Bangladesh, on October 9, 2017. — Reuters file photo

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

European commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarcic had said that the Rohingya crisis was in its third year and it was more important than ever to maintain their support and not forget those that remained 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 on Wednesday, €18.5 million would help the most vulnerable groups among refugees and host communities in Bangladesh, according to the European Commission.

This would be done by providing critical health care, food assistance and education in emergencies. Another €3.5 million would go towards building the local communities’ capacities to prepare for and manage natural disasters.

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

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

Another €2.5 million would 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 the Cox’s Bazar district and are fully reliant on humanitarian assistance.

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

This included 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.

Approximately 600,000 remaining Rohingya people in Myanmar’s Rakhine continue to suffer from a protracted human right crisis, with very limited access to basic services and viable livelihood opportunities due to strict movement restrictions and denied citizenship and rights.

In 2019, a new conflict between the Burmese army and the Arakan Army had caused new displacement of ethnic Rakhine population.

The total number of new internally displaced persons in Rakhine State has risen to 70,000 spread over 106 sites.

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