June 20, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
The Rohingya crisis and the political, security, humanitarian and economic crises that followed the February 2021 military coup in Myanmar continue to affect millions of people in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Canada is committed to maintaining a leadership role to help uphold sustainable peace and security, democracy, human rights and accountability. Canada will continue to help support Rohingya refugees, host communities in Bangladesh and the people of Myanmar most affected by these crises.
Today, on World Refugee Day, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, announced the next phase of Canada’s strategy to respond to the Rohingya and Myanmar crises. Canada has dedicated $288.3 million to this new phase of the strategy over 3 years.
This phase will consolidate our efforts and allow us to transition from immediate crisis response to helping advance durable solutions in Myanmar and addressing the medium- and longer-term needs of refugees and other crisis-affected populations, including in Bangladesh. In line with the Myanmar people’s aspirations, Canada will continue pushing for a restoration of democracy in Myanmar as well as accountability for crimes against the Rohingya and other communities.
To help achieve these objectives, Minister Joly announced her intention to appoint a new Special Envoy on the Rohingya and Myanmar crises who will play a leading role in coordinating with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the United Nations and other international partners to develop and advance solutions to the interlinked and complex crises in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The ministers also announced that 16 new development, peace and security projects have received funding through this strategy. Canada will continue to provide life-saving, gender-responsive humanitarian assistance as well. In addition to today’s announcement, Canada has allocated $15.3 million in humanitarian assistance funding in Bangladesh and $10.3 million in Myanmar in 2022 to support experienced humanitarian partners in addressing the immediate needs of the most vulnerable people, including the Rohingya.
“Canada remains deeply concerned about the ongoing Rohingya and Myanmar crises. The military regime in Myanmar must immediately put an end to violence, initiate an inclusive political dialogue and implement the Five-Point Consensus established by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. We will pursue sustainable solutions to ensure that the needs of impacted communities, including the Rohingya, are met and that their voices are heard.” > > - Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs
“Women and girls are at the core of Canada’s response to the Rohingya and Myanmar crises. We will continue supporting the voices, agency and empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity and will ensure that the programming we support addresses the root causes of poverty and inequality. That means supporting access to health and nutrition services, preventing and addressing gender-based violence and supporting self-reliance and economic empowerment.” > > - Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
In 2017, Bob Rae was appointed special envoy to Myanmar to lead Canada’s diplomatic efforts to help resolve the Rohingya crisis. Canada’s strategy to respond to the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh, launched in 2018, was based on the recommendations provided in his 2018 report. The strategy was aimed at meeting humanitarian needs, improving access to basic services and promoting inclusive governance.
This next phase of Canada’s strategy builds on previous achievements, lessons learned and consultations with several of Canada’s partners and with the Rohingya themselves in Bangladesh and Myanmar that followed the previous phase of the strategy. The new phase continues to be guided by Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and by Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
Canada has unequivocally condemned the 2021 military coup against the democratically elected government of Myanmar and, in full coordination with its allies, has levied 5 rounds of sanctions since the coup, targeting members of the regime and related economic entities.