Countries pledge $344m more in aid to help Rohingya refugees

26 Oct 17

Donor countries have pledged more than $344m in aid to Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh, at a United Nations conference.

A total of 35 pledges were made at the event in Geneva on Monday, the UN said in a statement, including new promises as well as reaffirmed commitments made since the crisis began in August this year.  

“Humanitarian donors have today expressed their solidarity and compassion with the families and communities in need,” Mark Lowcock, the under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and UN emergency relief coordinator, said at the conference.

“These very generous pledges must now quickly translate into life-saving relief for the vulnerable refugees and support to host communities who have been stretched to the limit.”

The UN appealed for £329m ahead of the conference, including some £57.8m to address immediate relief for children.

The UK also announced £12m in support, making the total UK commitments £62m since August.

At the conference the EU pledged to provide a further £26.7m (€30m) in humanitarian and development funds.

This comes in addition to more than £18.7m (€21m) in overall EU assistance already given to Rohingya and host communities in Bangladesh, including the release of £2.28m (€3m) last month.

This brings the EU support this year to over £45.5m (€51m).

Oxfam this week called on governments to provide more funds to close the funding gap, as only 26% of the UN target had been met ahead of the conference.

Violence broke out in Myanmar at the end of August when militants reportedly attacked government forces after decades of ethnic tensions.

The government forces have since retaliated against the Rohingya people and an estimated 600,000 people have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh during the past two months. 

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