By: Chandrashekar Bhat
BRITAIN has announced a new £5.26-million humanitarian funding to support Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said £4.26 million out of the package will be distributed through the World Food Programme and the remaining £1m will go through the UNHCR for pressure cookers.
London’s gesture comes days after the US announced $26m (£21.78m) for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and elsewhere in south Asia.
Around one million Rohingya people – mainly Muslims – live in squalid relief camps in Bangladesh, many after fleeing a 2017 military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar.
Britain’s minister for the Indo-Pacific, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who is touring Bangladesh, is scheduled to visit Cox’s Bazar to see how the UK’s support is helping Rohingya people in the camps.
She said the UK is helping the World Food Programme feed 449,000 people, as well as providing pressure cookers that can help to reduce the consumption of cooking gas.
“The UK continues to push for a long-term solution that will enable the Rohingya to return to Myanmar on a safe, voluntary and dignified basis,” the minister said.
Trevelyan arrived in Dhaka on Friday (10) after meeting Nepalese prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Kathmandu earlier in the day.
Britain has provided £350m since 2017 to support Rohingya and Bangladeshi host communities. This included food, shelter, water and sanitation and healthcare.
The United Nations this week said it needs $876m (£733.92m) to meet the humanitarian needs of the Rohingya refugees as a drastic fall in aid pledges last year left just $553m (£463.31m) for the cause.
On Tuesday, the UNHCR urged international donors to shore up their commitments or risk worsening a protracted humanitarian crisis.