The European Union (EU) is well aware that the reasons behind ongoing Rohingya crisis, which has driven away more than half a million people from their home, are rooted in Myanmar, said Christos Stylianides, the European commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management.
“The EU is well aware that the root causes of this crisis lie in Myanmar, and I strongly believe that there can only be a political solution to this crisis,” the European commissioner said after returning from his visit to the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters at the Padma State Guest House in Dhaka on Wednesday evening, Stylianides said he was shocked by the scale of the crisis he had witnessed in Cox's Bazar.
“The number of people, their needs, their trauma – [these] are beyond imagination. Acute malnutrition in children is also beyond imagination and at the same time the vast majority of them do not have any chance to go to school,” he said.
He further said this was a very dangerous situation, as an entire generation was being affected by this humanitarian crisis.
“[The] Rohingya are nothing less that every other human being in the world. This [situation] is, especially for the European Union and also for me personally, appalling,” he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, Stylianides met with Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, when he once again reaffirmed the EU's support for Bangladesh in tacking the crisis.
“I am here in Bangladesh to convey the strong message of support from [the] European Union. Our solidarity goes to both Rohingya and the people of Bangladesh, particularly the local community in Cox's Bazar... “The generosity of Bangladesh in hosting the Rohingya people is incredible.”
The European commissioner also called for a safe and dignified return of the Rohingya people to their homeland in Rakhine, Myanmar.
“The governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar should continue to engage in dialogue. This is the only way to ensure safe, dignified and voluntary return of those who were forced to cross the border and want to return home,” he told reporters.
The EU commissioner said the EU stood by Bangladesh in this difficult conditions and would continue to provide assistance until a solution was found.
European Commissioner Stylianides visited Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar on Tuesday to assess the situation on the ground and visit EU aid projects that are addressing the Rohingya crisis.
His visit comes a week after the EU and its member states pledged more than 50% of the $344 million funding raised at the international conference on the Rohingya crisis recently held in Geneva.