Almost four years into this crisis, a durable solution for the Rohingya people remains elusive, and our task has been further complicated by the COVID pandemic, and the coup in Myanmar. A coup which we have of course condemned in the strongest possible terms. And we remain deeply concerned at the worsening human rights and humanitarian situation since that coup.
Yet we remain steadfast in our resolve to pursue a political solution, that delivers safe, voluntary and dignified returns by the Rohingya to their homes in Rakhine; and accountability for the atrocities committed against them.
We also remain heartfelt in our appreciation of the Government and people of Bangladesh for hosting so many refugees, and for their commitment to help and protect them.
For as long as it remains necessary for Bangladesh to provide a safe harbour for the Rohingya that preserves their dignity and rights, the International Community must provide practical and political support.
I can announce today that the UK will continue to play our part through a new contribution of more than £27.6 million for the Joint Response Plan.
This is the latest tranche of more than £320 million that the UK has given since 2017.
Through this support the UK is both investing in the refugees’ future, and assisting the neighbouring Bangladeshi communities.
This is in addition to our contributions through the Education Cannot Wait initiative, and the Global Partnership for Education.
Equipping the Rohingya with education and skills, and giving them the opportunity to serve their refugee communities as volunteers, are essential to prepare them for a successful future return, and for avoiding a descent into despondency, criminality and insecurity whilst in Bangladesh.
Our yardstick this year should therefore be tangible progress on the safety and well-being of refugees and their hosts. This must include tackling in a comprehensive way the increase in violence against women and girls. We hope we can work closely with the Government of Bangladesh on this.
Once again, I thank all those involved in the response in Bangladesh for their incredible efforts and dedication.