Brussels, 15 February 2019
The European Commission has released an additional €24 million in humanitarian aid for vulnerable Rohingya refugees and host communities living in Cox's Bazar district, in Bangladesh.
Part of the funding will also cover disaster preparedness initiatives in the country.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: "The humanitarian community and the government of Bangladesh have responded with true solidarity to the plight of the Rohingya refugees. Our collective efforts have saved countless lives since the crisis began over a year ago. Yet we cannot stop now as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya rely on humanitarian aid to survive. This is why we are stepping up our EU support. We will stand by those most in need for as long as it takes."
Out of the funding announced today, €19 million will be targeted at Rohingya and host communities to provide protection, emergency health assistance, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and food security. A further €5 million will be used to support communities' preparedness against hazards and to strengthen local authorities' capacities to prepare for and manage natural disasters.
Today's announcement brings the total EU assistance in response to the Rohingya crisis in both Bangladesh and Myanmar to €139 million since 2017, out of which €94 million for humanitarian aid.
The EU calls for voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable returns, with the full involvement of the United Nations, in particular the UNHCR, in order to guarantee that return process will be fully in line with international law.
The announcement comes as the United Nations launches its Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya refugee crisis which finds that 1.2 million people are in need in Cox's Bazar between Rohingya refugees and host communities.
Since the latest outbreak of violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state in August 2017, over 745,000 Rohingya refugees have fled into Cox's Bazar. Almost one million now live in an extremely congested mega-camp and are fully dependant on humanitarian aid, without freedom of movement or any livelihood opportunities.
Displacement from Myanmar has almost tripled the total population in Cox's Bazar. This represents an unprecedented protection crisis in an area that is already prone to natural disasters.