Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and the Diaspora, Colm Brophy, TD, today pledged €1 million in humanitarian assistance from Ireland in response to the Rohingya refugee crisis in 2021. Minister Brophy made the pledge at the Donor Conference on Sustaining Support for the Rohingya Refugee Response, convened by the US, the EU, the UK, and the UN refugee agency.
Announcing this commitment today, Minister Brophy said:
“Ireland remains deeply concerned by the plight of the Rohingya. We recognise the strain on host governments and communities in Bangladesh and in the region, and we will support them to meet the needs of those affected by this crisis. I am proud to pledge €1 million in humanitarian assistance to that end in 2021.
Ireland’s aid programme aims to reach the furthest behind first. Refugees and internally displaced persons often bear the heaviest burdens in times of crisis. Today, the Rohingya face displacement on the one hand and the COVID-19 pandemic on the other. Our support to them is a manifestation of our commitment to reach the furthest behind first.”
Minister Brophy added:
“Humanitarian aid can meet people’s immediate needs and can play an important role in allaying the very worst consequences of political crisis. It alone can never be enough, however.
Only by comprehensively addressing the human rights violations committed against the Rohingya can we create the conditions necessary for their safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return to their places of origin. Ireland stands ready to play its role in that process.”
22 October 2020
Notes to Editors:
The Rohingya are a Muslim minority of Rakhine State, Myanmar. While there is a long history of discrimination against and forced displacement of the Rohingya, their situation deteriorated markedly in August 2017 when the Myanmar military launched a campaign of extreme violence against them, prompting a mass flight from the country.
Almost one million Rohingya refugees live in extremely precarious conditions in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the largest single refugee settlement in the world. Rohingya refugees and members of the Bangladeshi host community rely on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs.
A further estimated 600,000 Rohingya remain in Rakhine, of whom around 126,000 are internally displaced and effectively confined to camps. The remainder face discrimination and restrictions on their movement, limiting their access to livelihoods and services.
Ireland has provided direct funding of over €4.6m to the Rohingya crisis (in both Bangladesh and Myanmar) since the Myanmar military operations in late 2017. The additional funding pledged today will bring Ireland’s support since 2017 to a minimum of €5.6m.
Ireland’s policy for international development, A Better World, outlines Ireland’s vision of a more equal, peaceful, and sustainable world. It charts a clear way forward to achieve this vision, shaping and protecting our stability, our prosperity, our shared interests, and our common future. It commits Ireland to reducing humanitarian need by anticipating and responding to crises to protect the most vulnerable and those at risk.