Delegation of the European Union to Myanmar

EU pledges additional €30 million for Rohingya refugees from Myanmar

23/10/2017 - 16:48
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The EU today co-hosted with Kuwait in Geneva an international fundraising event for Rohingya refugees displaced from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The EU pledged an additional €30 million in aid, bringing the total EU support for Rohingyas this year to €51 million.

© Munir UZ ZAMAN / AFP

Today's pledging conference in Geneva aimed at securing by February 2018 some of the estimated €370 million needed to care for Myanmar's Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.  A total of €85 million had been promised before the conference opened, and the EU pledged an additional €30 million. This comes on the top of over €21 million in overall EU assistance already allocated to Rohingya and host communities, bringing the total EU support for this year to over €51 million. The funds will benefit the 900,000 refugees as well as roughly 300,000 local people from Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar region on the border with Myanmar.

Speaking by video-message at the opening of the conference, EU humanitarian affairs commissioner Stylianides said: "Today, we stand united for the right cause. The cause of stateless people who have suffered for too long: the Rohingya. The Rohingya deserve nothing less than every other human being in the world. They deserve a future. We have a moral duty to give these people hope. Our humanitarian support will work to provide essentials like water, sanitation, food, healthcare, protection, and education". The Commissioner reiterated the need for an end to violence, and full humanitarian access to all humanitarian aid workers, including for the UN and international NGOs.

The European Union has been funding humanitarian programmes along Bangladesh's border with Myanmar since 1994 through international NGOs and the UN. Since 2007, the EU has allocated about €157 million to Bangladesh; of which close to €38 million for basic health care, water, sanitation, shelter, nutrition, protection and psychological support to the Rohingya.

In Myanmar the EU has provided since 2010 more than €76.5 million in humanitarian aid to vulnerable people in Rakhine state, including in the more isolated northern areas. In 2017, the EU is funding projects throughout Myanmar's Rakhine State to address some of the most urgent needs, including food and nutrition, basic health services, water, sanitation, protection and shelter for affected communities displaced by outbreaks of violence in 2012 and 2016.

The Pledging Conference in Geneva was organised in partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The conference was chaired by UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock. UNHCR and IOM have been represented by High Commissioner Filippo Grandi and Director General William Lacy Swing.