Rohingya Crisis

Thank you for contacting me about what the UK is doing to support the Rohingya people.

The persistent persecution of the Rohingya people must stop. It is horrifying that hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children have been forced from their homes. This is a clear case of ethnic cleansing. In responding to the latest UN report, the Foreign Secretary, who has said he is willing to visit Burma in pursuit of answers to the crisis, has made clear that ‘There must be never be a hiding place for those who commit these kind of atrocities.’ 

The Minister of State, Lord Ahmad, has also called for the perpetrators of the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya to be brought to justice as a vital part of resolving the situation. The UK Government is calling for the Burmese authorities to ensure free and unfettered access to the country by the UN and humanitarian agencies.

As far as helping the refugees is concerned, I am encouraged that the International Development Secretary has made this one of her top priorities. The UK is a leading donor to the humanitarian response in Bangladesh for the Rohingya people having committed £129 million to the crisis since August 2017. This includes the announcement in May of an additional £70 million of humanitarian support to help ensure the thousands of persecuted Rohingya people are protected as the cyclone and monsoon season begins. Work supported by UK aid on preparing the camps for the monsoon season began in January and this new aid is providing additional medication, sturdier shelters, food, clean water and support for women to give birth safely. Our support is also helping to support a large vaccination campaign against cholera in and around the Cox’s Bazar camps.

The Government has repeatedly pressed the Burmese military to end this inhumane violence and guarantee unrestricted humanitarian access so aid can reach those in need in Burma. Any return of families to their homes must be safe, voluntary and dignified.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Craig Whittaker MP

August 2018