Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th July 2018.

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Photo of Roberta Blackman-Woods Roberta Blackman-Woods Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities & Local Government) (Planning)

What steps her Department is taking to protect Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in preparation for the monsoon season.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK has helped to lead the international response to the crisis. We are working with the Government of Bangladesh and humanitarian partners to improve shelters, provide water and sanitation, vaccinate against deadly disease and pre-position emergency supplies.

Photo of Ross Thomson Ross Thomson Conservative, Aberdeen South

Save the Children reports that just over 70% of school-age Rohingya children in Bangladesh are currently out of school. Will the Department help to lead a significant scale-up of education programming in the refugee camps?

Photo of Roberta Blackman-Woods Roberta Blackman-Woods Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities & Local Government) (Planning)

Save the Children has warned that not only are powerful storms affecting the Rohingya refugee camps, but such storms are likely to become more frequent. What are the Government doing to ensure that global action is taken to address flooding issues? [Interruption.]

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

My right hon. Friend the Minister for Asia and the Pacific was at Cox’s Bazar last weekend. He raised issues of global support with the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, who was also there. We are working with global partners to do all we can to meet the needs of those in such difficult circumstances.

Photo of Rosena Allin-Khan Rosena Allin-Khan Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport)

The Red Cross has announced that conditions are not ready for Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar. This will be a protracted crisis, with up to 200,000 Rohingya being affected by the monsoon season. This was not a surprise. Where was the Government’s disaster relief plan?

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The hon. Lady is right, and we are already working with other agencies on the fact that the refugees are likely to be there for much longer than people would originally have expected. It is still important that they are safe to return to Myanmar but, if that is not possible, we will indeed be working with others to make sure they are as safe as possible where they are.