The United Nations, aid agencies and NGO partners have said they need $920 million this year to support more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees who fled their homes in Myanmar in the wake of a brutal military crackdown in 2017 and are now living in sprawling camps in Bangladesh.
More than half the money is earmarked for critical aid including food, water, sanitation and shelter. The remainder will go towards health services, site management and protection activities, including child protection.
The funds will also be used to support at least 330,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis in host communities, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and International Organization for Migration said in a joint statement on Friday.
“Our humanitarian imperative today is to stabilise the situation of stateless Rohingya refugees and their Bangladesh hosts,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in the statement. “We are hoping for timely, predictable and flexible contributions in order to meet the goals of this year’s appeal.”
More than 745,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state since August 2017 when the military cracked down on the mostly Muslim minority. They joined about 200,000 others who had already sought safety around Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh during earlier outbreaks of violence.
Thousands of Rohingya refugees protest repatriation plan (2:29)
Grandi repeated his call for Myanmar to take action to address the root causes of the crisis.
“We encourage countries in this region and beyond to show solidarity with Bangladesh and to support Myanmar to start creating conditions for voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingya refugees,” he added.
Last month, Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said the country’s army chief should be prosecuted for “genocide” for his role in the violence, adding that holding the perpetrators to account was necessary before the Rohingya could return.