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Burma

Volume 707: debated on Tuesday 27 January 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding they have provided to (a) the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and (b) the Government of Bangladesh, for the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar; and whether the British High Commission in Dhaka will visit the camps in which the refugees live and report on the conditions. [HL900]

The UK Government do not presently provide direct financial assistance to the Rohingya refugees. The British high commissioner visited the Rohingya refugee camps on 30 October 2008. He has asked the British Council to carry out a scoping study for the provision of English language training in the camps. British high commission officials will again visit the camps before the end of the current financial year.

Practical help for the Rohingya refugees is provided by UK-supported development partners such as the European Union and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They support the operation of the official camps and the daily care and protection of the families living there. A number of smaller national non-governmental organisations also operate in the camps.

The UK is a major contributor globally to the UN agencies. In Bangladesh, in addition to the UNHCR's management of the camps, the United Nations Children's Fund, the Word Food Programme, the World Health Organisation and United Nations Population Fund have all provided various forms of assistance to the Rohingya refugees, some directly to the camp residents and some to Rohingya communities around the camps.