Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides is on a two-day visit to Bangladesh, to assess the situation on the ground and visit EU aid projects that are addressing the Rohingya refugee crisis. His visit comes a week after the EU and its Member States pledged more than 50% of the USD 344 million total funding raised at an international conference on the Rohingya refugee crisis held in Geneva, Switzerland.
"Here in Bangladesh the scale of this emergency is painfully clear to see; this is the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world. The EU has decisively stepped up its aid to Rohingya communities. The Rohingya people are not alone in these difficult times. We commend and support the generous approach of the Bangladeshi authorities. At the same time, the European Union continues to insist on full aid access in Myanmar and is working to address the situation in Northern Rakhine State. Beyond aid, it is crucial that every refugee is registered properly and that Myanmar takes all necessary steps to allow them a voluntary and dignified return in secure conditions." said Commissioner Stylianides.
Today Commissioner Stylianides visits the Kutupalong camp in the Cox's Bazar area, where an EU-funded project is helping over 100 000 people, mostly children and women, to gain access to essential services.
The Commissioner will also hold meetings with Bangladesh government officials and humanitarian partners to discuss the international community's response to the crisis and Bangladesh's needs moving forward.
The visit follows that of the Commissioner to Myanmar in May earlier this year.
On 23 October, the European Union co-hosted the Pledging Conference on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis in Geneva. The conference was co-hosted with Kuwait, in partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). International donors announced pledges for more than USD 344 million to urgently scale up the delivery of critical humanitarian assistance to both Rohingya and host communities in Bangladesh.
With a pledge of €30 million from the EU budget on 23 October, the total Commission support to the Rohingya and their host communities in Bangladesh and Myanmar amounts to €51 million for 2017.
The European Union has been funding humanitarian programmes in Cox’s Bazar since 1994 through international NGOs and the UN. Since 2007, the EU has allocated over €163 million to Bangladesh; of which close to €43 million has been allocated for basic health care, water, sanitation, shelter, nutrition, protection and psychological support to the Rohingya.
Since 2010, the EU has provided more than €76.5 million in humanitarian aid to Myanmar to help vulnerable people in Rakhine state, including in the more isolated northern areas, a region where Christos Stylianides became the first European Commissioner to visit earlier this May.
In 2017, the EU is funding projects throughout Myanmar's Rakhine state to address some of the most urgent needs, including food and nutrition, basic health services, water, sanitation, protection and shelter for affected communities displaced by outbreaks of violence in 2012 and 2016.