Media including the Mail, Guardian and the Today programme have covered a report by the International Development Committee (IDC) on Bangladesh, Burma and the Rohingya crisis where they are calling for the UK Government to make changes to its policy in Burma including reframing our aid programmes.
In fact, DFID was already reshaping its aid programmes in Burma to focus our support on helping the most vulnerable people that have suffered because of decades of devastating violence.
DFID does not provide financial aid to the Burmese Government or funding to the military. Instead, we are provide lifesaving food, water and medicine to more people in conflict affected areas.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:
The appalling violence and persecution in Rakhine State and increased conflict in other ethnic areas in Burma shows how far the country still has to go to achieve peace and an inclusive democracy. Families have lost their homes and been torn apart by atrocious attacks, children are going hungry and thousands of women are being forced to give birth in cramped camps across the border in the midst of the monsoon season. They urgently need our help.
We recognise this is a man-made crisis and the UK continues to lead the international response. We are reshaping our programme in Burma to focus on helping those whose lives have been devastated by conflict.
DFID does not provide aid to the Government of Burma and we are focused on providing aid to those displaced and destitute in both Burma and Bangladesh.
The report also recognised the UK’s leading work on helping to protect hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Rohingya people who have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh from the life-threatening cyclone and monsoon season. The incoming rains could wash away the fragile and cramped makeshift shelters in Cox’s Bazar that are exposed to the elements and cause fatal diseases to spread more rapidly.
The IDC said:
We very much welcome the £70 million of new aid allocated by the UK to bolster the on-going work in Cox’s Bazar to prepare for the monsoon season. These resources will make a substantial difference and we trust that further donors will be inspired to follow suit.
Read more about UK aid providing Rohingya families with extra support for medication, sturdier shelters, food, clean water and help for women to give birth safely ahead of the looming rainy season: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-aid-to-help-people-in-coxs-bazar-ahead-of-monsoon-season