The Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) today voiced dismay over cuts in British government aid to Rohingya refugees. The cuts were announced as international donors pledged $340 million in support of Rohingya refugees and the host communities in Bangladesh for the Joint Response Plan, a mere 36% of what is needed for 2021.
The UK government contribution of £27.6 million ($39 million) is their smallest contribution since the crisis began in 2017 and nearly half of what the British government committed in 2020. In its statement announcing its contribution, the UK government made no mention of this.
“When the genocidal expulsion of Rohingya happened in 2017, the UK government played a leading role in the international community to gather humanitarian support to the over 700,000 Rohingya who had fled to Bangladesh. This is not the moment for the UK to abandon international leadership”, said Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK).
Because of the military coup in Myanmar on February 1, it looks more unlikely than ever that the Rohingya will be able to return to Myanmar in the near future. Head of Myanmar military Min Aung Hlaing, the person outmost in charge of the Rohingya genocide, is now in charge of the country. In Bangladesh, nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees lives in Cox’s Bazar in the largest refugee camp in the world. Over half of the refugees are children.
“When Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is cutting aid, the main target of these aid cuts will be Rohingya children. The future is disappearing for the children in the camps. With the growing population hardly receiving any education, in ten years we will have a lost generation”, said Tun Khin, adding that the Bangladesh authorities should allow all Rohingya children in the camp to receive an education.
BROUK is calling on the UK government to reverse the announced cuts and instead expand its support to include more than humanitarian assistance.
“Our community needs both moral and practical support, not to have our lifelines cut at our outmost hour of need. Our community, our culture, need to rebuild after genocide. We need capacity building for our young people in the camp, they need education, a future. The UK government should also offer scholarships for Rohingya to come to UK to study”, said Tun Khin.K
The British cuts come as the US, in contrast, has announced support to the Joint Response Plan with $155million dollars. The UK support of £27.6 million is nearly half of the £47.5 million committed in 2020.
Aid request for 2021 Joint Response Plan: https://reliefweb.int/report/bangladesh/joint-humanitarian-community-press-release-aid-agencies-bangladesh-urge
For more information, contact Tun Khin on +44 (0)7888714866.