Press release

Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for people fleeing Burma reaches £3 million with UK aid support

Of the amount raised so far, £1.2 million has been provided by UK aid, pledged by the British Government to make public donations go that much further.

Picture: IOM

Picture: IOM

Within 24 hours of the Disasters Emergency Committee launching its appeal for Rohingya people fleeing Burma, more than £3 million has been raised.

Of the amount raised so far, £1.2 million has been provided by UK aid, pledged by the British Government to make public donations go that much further.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:

The generosity of the British public has been overwhelming and once again they have shown the rest of the world what the UK does best; acting without hesitation to help victims of brutal violence and persecution.

I want to say a huge thank you to those who have donated to the appeal and every penny is making a difference. Your contributions are saving the lives of hundreds and thousands of men, women and children who have been forced to leave behind their homes and loved ones to make the treacherous journey into neighbouring Bangladesh.

UK aid is reaching Rohingya refugees in desperate need, providing food, shelter and water. By matching pound for pound donations from the British public to the DEC appeal, the UK Government is doubling the impact that British people can have and making their money go further.

The UK will double all donations up to £3 million, meaning even more aid is available for those in need.

The British Government was quick to recognise the unprecedented scale of the crisis in Burma and the impact it is having on Bangladesh, and has already given £30 million to provide lifesaving food, water, shelter and healthcare to victims of the violence.

Notes to editors

  • The DEC brings 13 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis: ActionAid, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam, Plan International UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision; all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly.
  • The UK is appalled by the violence taking place in Rakhine State, particularly by the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing that violence and the reports of grave human rights violations taking place.
  • As of Monday, 2 October 507,000 people have fled the violence into neighbouring Bangladesh. Numbers are rising.
  • The UK has been a leader in responding to the crisis – in speed and size – to help meet the urgent humanitarian needs of vulnerable men, women and children in both Bangladesh and Burma.
  • Prior to the latest violence which began on Friday, 25 August 2017, we committed £5.9 million to meet the needs of the most vulnerable refugees and the host communities who support them.
  • In response to the latest influx we have provided a further £30 million of support.
  • Our existing work in the region meant that we were already in position to provide life-saving support when the crisis flared – without this, aid would have taken much longer to reach those in need. And we are sending more aid to Bangladesh.
  • In Rakhine State in Burma, aid workers have been getting British-funded humanitarian assistance to many tens of thousands of people. DFID’s partners are ready to provide emergency food to 30,000 people and to treat more than 3,000 severely malnourished children and pregnant women, but the Burmese authorities must stop refusing to grant access.
  • This lack of access on the Burma side means vital needs will not be met and lives lost. Britain urgently calls upon the Burmese military to end the violence in Rakhine and the Government of Burma to allow immediate and full humanitarian access and support for the people and communities affected. *We have raised the situation in three UN Security Council meetings and led work in the Council to develop an international response. The Foreign Secretary also held a Ministerial meeting of General Assembly members at the UN General Assembly on 18 September to drive this process forward.
  • Mark Field, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, visited Burma, including Rakhine State from Monday, 25 - Wednesday, 27 September. He held talks in Burma with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to press for an urgent resolution to the crisis in Rakhine.
  • On Thursday 28 September Minister Burt and Minister Field hosted a series of high-level talks in Dhaka, Bangladesh with key Government officials and aid agencies to identify how best to provide lifesaving support to the large influx of refugees in Bangladesh.
  • Britain is ready to support the recommendations of the Kofi Annan led Rakhine Advisory Commission to assist the long-term development of all people in Rakhine state, but right now the immediate action is for the security forces to end the violence and the government of Burma to allow humanitarian access.


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Published 5 October 2017