UAE contributes AED7.35 million to UNCHR’s emergency food relief to Rohingya refugees

ABU DHABI, 10th April, 2018 (WAM) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, have signed a AED7.35 million (US$2 million) agreement to support emergency food relief for Rohingya women and children refugees in Bangladesh.

The gesture stems from the UAE’s firm stance to support people in the face of tragedy, and extend a helping hand to the vulnerable and needy of the world affected by armed conflicts and natural disasters – without discrimination or prejudice based on gender, race or belief.

The agreement is part of the Supplementary Appeal of the Emergency Response in Bangladesh initiated by the United Nations in March 2018, seeking financial support to help 1.3 million individuals, including 884,000 Rohingya refugees and 336,000 host communities by the end of this year.

This funding aims to provide treatment for 132,000 refugees, including 78,000 women and children living in Cox’s Bazar-Bangladesh camp and its new communities. The support will also help UNHCR and its partners reduce the incidence of mortalities linked to moderate and severe malnutrition through life-saving nutrition interventions. It also promotes effective planning, response and monitoring of emergency food and nutrition, as well as the development, analysis and assessment of nutritional needs.

Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development, and Toby Harward, Director of the Office of the UNHCR in the UAE, signed the agreement.

The agreement will support the “Emergency Food Relief for Rohingya Women and Children Refugees in Bangladesh” programme, from March 2018 to December 2018, with over one third (37%) of UNHCR’s urgent needs from the total project cost valued at US$5.4 million, to address malnutrition and risks associated therewith for Rohingya women and children refugees in camps and new settlements.

Al Shamsi explained that the UAE’s foreign aid policy aligns with the initiatives marking the ‘Year of Zayed’ in 2018, and are an integral part of the charitable and giving stance of the UAE towards humanitarian issues in general and refugees and displaced persons in particular, especially for the most vulnerable groups like women and children.

He explained that since the escalation of the Rohingya displacement in August, a number of humanitarian organisations in the UAE, have rushed to provide emergency assistance, including food, relief and medical aid to help meet the urgent daily needs of refugees. The total amount of UAE assistance throughout the crisis has reached US$6.7 million from August 2017 to March 2018.

Director of the UNHCR Office praised the contribution of the UAE in humanitarian aid generally and towards refugees and displaced persons in particular, through the provision of support, especially financial support, which contributes to strengthening the capacity of UNHCR and its partners to serve affected groups. “There are huge numbers of Rohingya refugees suffering from severe malnutrition, especially among children under the age of 5. Such a generous donation by the UAE will save numerous lives. It will help UNHCR and its partners provide the best services in the field of nutrition for Rohingya refugees. “

Since August 25, 2017, more than 655,000 people, including 355,000 children, have been forced to flee Myanmar’s Rakhine State and seek safe haven in Bangladesh, making the Rohingya refugee crisis the fastest growing in the world. These new refugees joined nearly 213,000 Rohingya refugees who had fled to Bangladesh in previous waves of displacement. Infrastructure, health, water and environment services – particularly forest resources and surrounding lands – are severely depleted, with camps in Bangladesh almost at breaking point.

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