‘The situation in the overcrowded refugee camps in Bangladesh is dire. Norway is now providing an additional NOK 25 million for humanitarian efforts to alleviate the Rohingya crisis,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Over 582 000 people have fled Rakhine state in Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh in the space of less than two months, most of them women and children from the Rohingya Muslim minority. Norway will announce the additional allocation for the refugee camps at a pledging conference for the Rohingya refugee crisis being held in Geneva today. The conference is organised by the UN, and co-hosted by the EU and Kuwait. So far, Norway has provided a total of NOK 80 million in humanitarian support for Rakhine and Bangladesh.
‘Rohingyas in Myanmar and those who have sought refuge in Bangladesh have an acute need for protection and humanitarian assistance. Their fundamental human rights must be respected, and they need a lasting solution to the citizenship issue. This is primarily the responsibility of the authorities in Myanmar. Norway has a broad engagement in the country, and we will continue to make our views on these issues clear in our dialogue with the Myanmar authorities,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
Ms Eriksen Søreide repeated calls by Norway to the Myanmar authorities to allow international humanitarian organisations access to the worst affected areas of Rakhine so that they can provide assistance to the civilian population.
Over 800 000 refugees are now living on a small strip of land in the city of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. According to the UN, there is an immense and pressing need for shelter, health services, protection, water and access to sanitation facilities. The strip of land and the resources available are under great pressure, and this is also having a major impact on the local population. The humanitarian organisations are now stepping up their efforts, but the growing needs are outpacing resources. The UN and partners have launched a Joint Response Plan for the humanitarian effort. The plan calls for USD 434 million to meet the life-saving needs of 1.2 million people – both refugees and poor people in their host communities in Bangladesh – over a period of six months.