Press release

International Development Minister announces new UK aid to support 1.2 million people living in Cox’s Bazar

Baroness Sugg pledges new UK aid for Rohingya refugees and vulnerable Bangladeshi host families during a visit to the region.

Baroness Sugg pictured visiting a UNICEF learning centre in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

Baroness Sugg pictured visiting a UNICEF learning centre in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

International Development Minister Baroness Sugg has visited Bangladesh and Myanmar this week to see first-hand how UK aid is saving lives – and to pledge new support.

The Minister’s visit focused on how the UK can help find a lasting solution to help Rohingya refugees return home safely to Rakhine State in Myanmar.

During her trip, Baroness Sugg visited the world’s largest refugee camp In Cox’s Bazar, and saw how new UK aid will provide food, clean water, shelter and healthcare to the Rohingya and Bangladeshi families in the host communities in the surrounding area.

Baroness Sugg also visited a women-only safe space within Cox’s Bazar, where UK aid is supporting women and girls to access sexual and reproductive health care, as well as helping them receive counselling after surviving sexual and physical violence.

The second leg of her visit took the International Development Minister to Myanmar, where she saw how UK aid is helping to build a more inclusive society, including through programmes which train women in essential skills for work.

Reflecting on her visit, International Development Minister Baroness Sugg said:

Bangladesh has shown great generosity in giving refuge to the Rohingya, but we must not forget the impact of the crisis on Bangladeshi people too, particularly those living near the camps.

Our new package of support will help both the Rohingya and their host communities in Cox’s Bazar. It will help, for example, disadvantaged women learn skills and set up businesses, boosting economic growth and helping to ease tensions between the local and refugee populations.

The new package of support follows a long-term commitment by the UK to help Rohingya refugees forced to flee their homes in Myanmar more than two years ago.

The UK has provided consistent support to Bangladesh to host almost a million refugees since the crisis began in August 2017.

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Published 9 October 2019