EU releases €31m to address Rohingya crisis | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 04, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:23 AM, March 04, 2020

EU releases €31m to address Rohingya crisis

The European Commission yesterday announced releasing €31 million in humanitarian aid to address the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The announcement came after the UN agencies and NGOs launched the 2020 Joint Response Plan (JRP) in Geneva.

The JRP seeks to raise $877 million to respond to the needs of some 855,000 Rohingya refugees and 444,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis in Cox's Bazar.

EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic in a statement said, "The Rohingya crisis is in its third year. It is more important than ever to maintain our support and not forget those that remain dependent on humanitarian aid to survive."

The European Union was committed to supporting both refugees and host communities in Cox's Bazar, as well as to the vulnerable Rohingya in Myanmar, he added.

Speaking at the launching event in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said support of the 2020 JRP was essential to safeguard the wellbeing of Rohingya refugees -- both now in Bangladesh and once it is safe and sustainable for them to return home to Myanmar.

"Until then, the world must stand by the Rohingya and by the government and people of Bangladesh who continue to host them. Most important will be engaging refugees and hearing their voices and understanding their hopes and vision for the future."

This year marks the third year of exile for most Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, following their flight from Myanmar in 2017.

IOM Director General António Vitorino said, "From the moment the international community responded to the crisis in August 2017, we committed ourselves to a long-term investment working with the government to create sustainable, dignified living arrangements for all until such time as they could safely return home, and to provide meaningful support to host communities."

He said the 2020 JRP's focus on infrastructure, livelihoods, protection and the environment were extensions of the work completed to date.

The 2019 JRP was funded at just over 70 percent, or $650 million received against $921 million requested, the UNHCR said.

Addressing the event, Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said the international community, including the UN agencies, must work towards meaningfully and vigorously engage with Myanmar to create an environment that would be conducive to voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return.

He said Bangladesh was revisiting the decision on the suspension of the mobile and internet network in the Rohingya camps.

Meanwhile, Save the Children, International Rescue Committee, Handicap International, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam and Danish Refugee Council in a statement have urged donor governments to contribute generously to the 2020 JRP.

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