Sylheter Sokal Desk :: The UK has pledged an additional £12 million in aid for the Rohingya crisis to provide urgently needed necessities to the refugees. It also warned that global funds for the aid effort may dry up soon.
This brings the UK’s total support to £59 million since Aug 25, the day the Myanmar military began a crackdown in Rakhine state that resulted in over 600,000 Rohingyas crossing the border into Bangladesh.
“Global funding to support the Rohingya people will only meet urgent needs for the next 100 days – we cannot turn our backs on those trapped in crisis,” said UK International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt during a visit to Cox’s Bazar.
The UK will stand by Bangladesh and the Rohingya people in the future, she said.
“Other countries must follow our lead and do even more to help children overcome the trauma of war, reunite them with their families and give a future to the next generation.”
The UK’s aid effort is currently providing emergency food to 174,000, nutritional support to over 60,000 children under the age of five and over 21,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women, safe drinking water, emergency latrines and water cans for over 131,000 and emergency shelter for over 130,000.
Of the funds, £8 million will go to ensuring assistance, including the security of women and girls, while £4 million has been allocated to the World Food Bank and is currently being used to provide food assistance.
The UK International Development secretary highlighted the prevalence of sexual and gender based violence experienced by Rohingya women and girls to mark International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women.
“The countless stories of sexual violence I have heard from Rohingya women and girls are truly shocking and the high rates of this crime across the world are a global scandal.
“The UK is absolutely determined to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls and we are increasing protection for Rohingya women and girls against sexual violence and exploitation.
The UK also pledged a separate £12 million to the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women to help 750,000 women and girls in multiple countries around the world. Some of these funds may later be allocated to Bangladesh.
Mordaunt also called for an end to the violence against Rohingyas and a process to ensure the safe return of the refugees to their homeland in Myanmar.
“The persistent persecution of the Rohingya people must stop. It is horrifying that hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children have had their homes burnt to the ground, and parents have been forced to helplessly watch as their children die from hunger.
“This looks like ethnic cleansing. The Burmese military must end this inhumane violence and guarantee unrestricted humanitarian access so aid can reach those in need in Burma. Any return of families to their homes must be safe, voluntary and dignified.