Luxembourg will allocate €750,000 to projects related to the humanitarian crisis affecting the Rohingya refugees at the international donors conference in Geneva on 23 October.
The information was unveiled by cooperation and humanitarian action minister Romain Schneider responding to a parliamentary question.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people have fled persecution in the northern Rakhine state in Myanmar over the past months. It is believed to be the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis.
The United Nations described the military offensive in Rakhine, in which homes were destroyed and civilians targeted, as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
“The humanitarian situation in the state of Rakhine is extremely serious,” Schneider wrote, adding: “Deeply unsettling reports show that acts of arson and violence continue against the civilian population, alongside serious human rights violations such as indiscriminate gunfire, the presence of mines and sexual violence,” the minister wrote.
Around half a million people, mostly Rohingya muslims, have fled their homes for Bangladesh as a result of fear and violence.
“Access to deliver humanitarian aid and allow media to report in Rakhine state is very restricted. Because of this, at this stage we cannot precisely analyse their needs. Nevertheless, aid organisations in place have agreed that a long-term engagement with international donors will be necessary, considering the political impasse and the risk of a real and wide-scale humanitarian crisis.”
Schneider was responding to a parliamentary question from MP Nancy Arendt asking about plans for a cooperation agreement between Luxembourg and Myanmar. Schneider said that a feasibility study had been carried out in 2017 and that the Luxembourg government would continue to follow the humanitarian situation in Rakhine state closely. He said it was for this reason that a bilateral visit to Myanmar, scheduled for November 2017, was postponed.
In 2016, Luxembourg gave €1.9 million to development projects in Myanmar. Schneider said among the projects benefiting was one in the Shan state aimed at helping ethnic minorities.