Donors conference raises 597 million dollars for Rohingya people


Donor countries pledged 597 million dollars on Thursday to help the marginalised Rohingya community in Myanmar and the more than 1 million Rohingya who have fled persecution abroad. The sum nearly doubles the aid that had been promised so far this year for the Rohingya and their host communities, UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi told an online donor conference organised by the United States, Britain, the European Union and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The Rohingya are the world's biggest stateless community. More than 1 million Rohingya Muslims currently live in Bangladesh.  Nearly 750,000 of them arrived there following the August 2017 military crackdown – which the UN called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" – on the minority group in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state.

However, the situation in Bangladesh has become untenable for the refugees and local host communities, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said.

"Bangladesh is not in a position to take the burden any more," he said, urging Myanmar to take back the refugees. Some 150,000 Rohingya live as refugees in other Asian countries.  Around 600,000 members of the Muslim minority still live in Myanmar, where they face ongoing violence, poverty and restrictions on freedom of movement.

"To resolve the crisis in Myanmar, the government of Myanmar must take steps to address the root causes of the violence and displacement in Rakhine state," Grandi said, urging the government to create safe conditions to allow Rohingya to return.

At the conference, 200 million dollars were pledged by the US, while Britain and the EU promised the equivalent of 49 million and 114 million dollars, respectively. (dpa)

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