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EU, US, UN to co-host virtual aid conference for Rohingya refugees

The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened conditions for Rohingya refugees [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 October, 2020

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The conference will be co-hosted by the UN, US, and EU to help fund the Rohingya refugees made homeless after Myanmar military massacres.

A online international donor conference to raise urgently-needed funds for Rohingya refugees will be held on 22 October, co-hosted by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.

The co-hosts announced the conference on Thursday, saying that less than half of the $1 billion in aid sought by the UN in 2020 had been raised.

"The Rohingya people have faced horrific brutality and were forced to flee their homes in the worst circumstances imaginable," British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in the statement.

"We have taken action against the architects of this systemic violence, including through sanctions and we will continue to hold those responsible to account," he said.

Some 750,000 Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh following a military crackdown in 2017 - operations that Myanmar is currently facing genocide charges for at the UN's top court. 

Yangon has denied committing genocide against the Rohingya, saying the operations came in response to militant attacks.

More than one million people currently reside in the makeshift refugee camps in Bangladesh's south, where cramped conditions and water is endangering lives.

Read more: Over 100,000 Muslim Rohingya living in Myanmar ‘open-air prisons’ as crisis deepens: HRW

Inside Myanmar, nearly 130,000 Rohingya Muslims live in what Amnesty International describe as "apartheid" conditions in camps around Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State.

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated problems for Rohingya refugees, increasing the risk of sexual and gender-based violence, and heightening the risk of infectious diseases for displaced Rohingya, the joint statement on Thursday said.

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