Politics

UK urges not to turn away from Rohingya’s suffering

DHAKA, Oct 22, 2020 (BSS) – United Kingdom’s (UK’s) secretary of state for
foreign, commonwealth and development affairs Dominic Raab today urged world
not to “turn away from Rohingya’s suffering” as the UK pledges to provide
life-saving support.

“I urge the world not to turn away from the Rohingya’s suffering and to
take the action necessary to allow them to safely return to the homes they
fled in terror,” he said.

The British secretary of state made the remark while announcing £47.5million
new UK aid to support 860,000 displaced Rohingyas as well as help Bangladesh
dealing with coronavirus and natural disasters, said a press release of
British high commission here.

This extra support comes ahead of a pledging conference co-hosted by the
UK, US, EU and UNCHR today and follows UK sanctions on perpetrators of
violence against the Rohingya people.

This new funding, announced by the Foreign Secretary, will provide
hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people with food, healthcare, water and
sanitation, as well as care and counselling for those traumatised by the
violence they have experienced, said the release.

It will also improve access to education for 50,000 young people, as well
as create isolation and treatment centres for people suffering from
coronavirus.

Alongside this, the release said the UK aid package will support
communities in Bangladesh, as the country hosting the highest number of
Rohingya refugees.

It will strengthen its health system to respond to COVID-19 and continue
the UK’s support to help Bangladesh become more resilient to natural
disasters such as flooding.

“The people living in Cox’s Bazar face unimaginable hardship and many have
been victims of violence. We have imposed sanctions on the perpetrators of
this brutality, and this new funding will save lives in the camp and help
Bangladesh become more resilient to disasters such as coronavirus,” Raab
said.

Today’s summit will bring countries together to show solidarity for the
Rohingya people, express support for nations hosting them as refugees and
urge countries to pledge funds to the humanitarian crisis which this year is
critically underfunded.

The UN has estimated it needs $1billion this year to help Rohingya
refugees in Bangladesh but so far less than half of that has been raised.

At the conference, FCDO Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth Lord
Ahmad of Wimbledon will reiterate that steps must be taken to work towards
the voluntary, safe and dignified return of the Rohingya to their homes in
Myanmar.

In August 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya left Myanmar and got
refuse in Bangladesh to escape brutal and systematic violence.

Since then, the UK has sanctioned two generals in the Myanmar military, as
recommended by a UN independent investigation, which found them responsible
for atrocities which amount to ethnic cleansing.

Today’s announcement brings the total UK aid commitment to the Rohingya
crisis in Bangladesh to close to £300 million. The fund includes £37.5
million to provide humanitarian assistance in Cox’s Bazar and £10 million in
support for Bangladesh to help the country respond to coronavirus and natural
disasters like flooding.

Funds raised at the conference will go to international organisations and
non-governmental organisations working to alleviate the crisis on the ground
in Myanmar, throughout the region, and as specified by the UN-led Joint
Response Plan (JRP) in Bangladesh.

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