UK provides £47.5m for Rohingya refugees; urges others ‘not to forget their plight’


Rohingya refugees collect bamboo poles and other relief supplies at Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on October 15, 2020. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Rohingya refugees collect bamboo poles and other relief supplies at Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia on October 15, 2020. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

AT UN aid meeting on Thursday(22) Britain announced £47.5 million new funding for Rohingya refugees in camps in Bangladesh and urged other donors not to forget their plight.



Foreign secretary Dominic Raab outlined a further £47.5m ($63m) in aid, both for the Rohingya and to help Bangladesh deal with the coronavirus pandemic and its frequent natural disasters.

The money was pledged as part of a virtual aid conference convening later Thursday, co-hosted by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Britain, the US and the EU.

“Today 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,” Raab said in a statement.



The UNHCR is appealing for more than $1 billion to meet the humanitarian needs of Rohingya refugees, 860,000 of whom are sheltering in sprawling camps across the Cox’s Bazar district of southeastern Bangladesh, having fled across the border from Myanmar.

“The people living in Cox’s Bazar face unimaginable hardship and many have been victims of violence,” Raab said.

“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.”



The Rohingya people are widely seen as illegal immigrants in Myanmar, denied citizenship and stripped of rights.

Hundreds of thousands fled across the border during a 2017 military offensive in Myanmar, for which its government faces genocide charges at the UN’s top court.

Britain has sanctioned two Myanmar generals after a UN investigation found them responsible “for atrocities which amount to ethnic cleansing”, according to the British foreign ministry’s statement.