The UK has pledged further support for the Rohingya crisis to help with food, health care, sanitation and counselling for victims of sexual violence.
During a visit to Bangladesh last week, the UK Government’s International Development Minister Baroness Sugg announced a further £30 million of UK aid support, on top of the UK’s recent pledge of £87 million to the Rohingya crisis.
Baroness Sugg paid tribute to all those working tirelessly to support the Rohingya living in the camps while she visited Cox’s Bazar.
International Development Minister Baroness Sugg said: “The scale of the crisis facing the Rohingya people is huge. During my visit, I saw first-hand how UK aid is making a real difference in Cox’s Bazar, providing people with food, water and sanitation.
“The UK government has now announced further support not only to help protect people from violence and trafficking, but also help to improve their shelter in readiness for the next monsoon season.
“The Government and people of Bangladesh have shown great generosity and humanity in hosting the Rohingya and I am proud the UK continues to stand with them.”
She visited a refugee registration centre to see first-hand how registration helps safeguard the refugees’ right to voluntarily return to Myanmar. It also improves the accuracy of data so authorities and humanitarian partners can better understand the refugees’ needs.
Baroness Sugg also visited a women-friendly space where women and girls can support each other and access a range of social, mental health and psycho-social support; as well as sexual and reproductive health services. The visit took place after the United Kingdom made available an additional £87 million contribution for the crisis, with over £20 million to support economic development and mitigate the environmental impact in the wider Cox’s Bazar district. This brings the UK’s contribution from the start of the crisis in August 2017 to a total of £256 million.
Since the latest influx of refugees in 2017, Bangladesh has hosted almost one million Rohingya people. The UK stands with the Government of Bangladesh in supporting Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar with lifesaving assistance, including food, water and shelter, as well as education and counselling as they rebuild their lives. The UK also recognises the challenges facing many vulnerable Bangladeshi families and that is why UK support will help them too. Baroness Sugg witnessed first-hand why this support is so important and underlined the UK’s continued commitment to Bangladesh and to the Rohingya people.
Through the UK’s £87 million, funding up to 75,000 children and adolescents from the refugee and surrounding communities will have access to improved education. Baroness Sugg had the opportunity to visit a UNICEF Leaning Centre – one of 150 that DFID has helped to set up – to speak with pupils and their Rohingya and Bangladeshi teachers.
To understand the economic and environmental impact the Rohingya crisis is having on the local communities, Baroness Sugg met with Bangladeshi women who have organized self-help groups and received vocational and life-skills training. The women were provided with bank accounts, monthly subsistence allowances, and one-off business start-up grants; and linked up with government services.
In Dhaka, Baroness Sugg met with the Bangladeshi Planning Minister, Muhammad Abdul Mannan MP. Their discussion covered a range of issues of shared interest, including climate change and Bangladesh’s transition to middle income country status by 2024. Baroness Sugg also took the opportunity to express the UK’s gratitude for Bangladesh’s hosting of the Rohingya refugees and underline the UK’s commitment to the goal of safe, dignified and voluntary returns.
She also visited Myanmar where she highlighted the message of the UK’s commitment to making sure the right conditions are put in place in Rakhine to allow for voluntary returns.