United Nations launches $1bn appeal to care for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

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18 March, 2018

United Nations agencies and NGO partners have released a 2018 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, with a $951 million appeal to meet the urgent needs of almost 900,000 Rohingya refugees.

United Nations agencies asked for US$951 million (774 million euros) through the rest of the year to provide basic needs for the nearly one million Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh, including the almost 700,000 who have crossed the border since August.

The UN says the funds will help about 1.3 million people.

Grandi again acknowledged that it "may take a very long time" before any Rohingya can return to their home in Myanmar's Rakhine state, in the absence of any evidence that they will be safe if they go back.

Myanmarplans to repatriate some 700,000 Rohingya Muslim minority who fled to Bangladesh to escape a brutal army crackdown to 11 "new villages", Foreign Affairs Ministry Permanent Secretary Myint Thu told DPA yesterday.

The two countries reached a deal in November to begin repatriation within two months, but repatriation has not begun, with stateless Rohingya, who face restrictions on their movements in Myanmar, still crossing the border. "Given the large scale of the emergency and the amount of humanitarian services needed to ensure lives can be protected with dignity, continued and enhanced support is necessary", he added.

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Senior officials in Myanmar had announced Wednesday that they had kicked off talks with United Nations agencies to see how they could assist with the repatriation of the Rohingya refugees.

State Minister Alam was addressing the launching event of "Joint Response Plan for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis", jointly organised by UNHCR, IOM and OCHA in Geneva on Friday. Such criteria are hard to meet for most Rohingya who do not have official documents as they are considered illegal immigrants and remain stateless, despite residing in Burma for generations.

Provocative images of one-time human rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi with a Hitler moustache and banners demanding Cambodia's Hun Sen step down were held by protesters in Sydney Saturday in a rally against Southeast Asian leaders.

Najib said Malaysia was ready to render assistance in finding a just and durable solution, "just as Malaysia is cooperating with its neighbours in the peace processes in the Southern Philippines and in Southern Thailand".

"These 374 will be the first batch of the repatriation", said Myint Thu at a press conference in the capital Naypidaw.


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