Myanmar must address root causes to resolve crisis
Comprehensive solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis lies in the safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homes in Rakhine, according to the joint closing announcement by co-hosts of donor conference on “Sustaining Support for the Rohingya Refugee Response,” held on Thursday.
Myanmar must ensure to address the root causes of violence and displacement in Rakhine state to resolve the crisis.
The United States, United Kingdom, European Union and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) co-hosted the conference against the backdrop of a significant funding gap with respect to the humanitarian response for the Rohingyas.
“The voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees and others internally displaced to their places of origin or of their own choosing in Myanmar is the comprehensive solution that we seek along with Rohingya people themselves,” the joint announcement said.
“To that end, we underscore the secretary general’s call for a global ceasefire and the cessation of fighting to enable safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all communities in need of assistance,” it said.
“To resolve the crisis in Myanmar, the government of Myanmar must take steps to address the root causes of the violence and displacement in Rakhine state and create the conditions for voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable returns,” said the announcement.
“This includes providing a pathway to citizenship and freedom of movement for Rohingya, guided by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State’s recommendations and encouraged and supported by countries in the region. Myanmar must provide justice for the victims of human rights abuses and ensure that those responsible are held accountable,” it said.
“We remain steadfast in our engagement with countries concerned towards finding solutions to the crisis. We will continue to work together to maintain international attention on the Rohingya crisis and to shift from short-term critical interventions to a more sustained and stable support,” it added.
Effects of the crisis
“We are grateful to the government and the people of Bangladesh and other countries in the region for their continued support and hosting of Rohingya refugees. We acknowledge the responsibility they have undertaken and we assure them of our continued donor commitment to support the humanitarian needs of Rohingya refugees throughout the region, especially in Bangladesh,” said the announcement.
“This support needs to go hand-in-hand with increased support to host communities. While we continue efforts to secure long-term solutions, a focus on more sustainable response planning and financing in Bangladesh could more effectively support the government’s management of the response and maximize limited resources to benefit both Bangladeshi and refugee communities,” it said.
On the impact on Rohingyas, the announcement said: “The crisis is having a devastating effect on vulnerable members of Rohingya communities, particularly women and children who require gender and age-sensitive interventions. The crisis is also affecting the wider region, with refugees, mainly women and children, desperately attempting to reach other countries in the region.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of those governments that have allowed the safe disembarkation of Rohingya refugees in distress at sea. We assure governments hosting Rohingya that donors are committed to supporting these refugees,” it said.
$600 million of funding announced in the conference
“We will continue to provide strong support for displaced and stateless Rohingya people, wherever they are in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and other countries in the region,” the announcement said.
“The international community has demonstrated its strong commitment to the humanitarian response with the announcement of funding today totaling some USD 600 million, which significantly expands the nearly USD 636 million in humanitarian assistance already committed so far in 2020 under the Bangladesh Joint Response Plan and the Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan,” it said.
Since the outbreak of violence in August 2017, a total of nearly $2.8 billion has been provided to the Rohingya crisis response in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the region.
This is in addition to $700 million in development commitments to Bangladesh from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, the announcement added.