$340M pledged to help Rohingya refugees, U.N. says
DHAKA, Bangladesh -- The head of the U.N. agency that coordinates humanitarian aid says they have pledged roughly $340 million to help more than 600,000 ethnic Rohingya who have fled Myanmar into Bangladesh since August.
Mark Lowcock of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said donors included governments and the European Union at a one-day conference in Geneva for the Rohingya. The U.N. and its partners are seeking $434 million to help the Rohingya through February.
Lowcock said more contributions are still expected.
"We are facing a massive refugee crisis. It demands a comprehensive refugee response based on global refugee response standards," Lowcock said Monday.
The U.N. refugee agency says 603,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled into Bangladesh since security forces in neighboring Myanmar launched a violent crackdown against them on Aug. 25. The U.N. has termed Myanmar's actions a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.
Bangladesh has been hosting hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who have fled Myanmar dating back to 1978. The U.N. said some 800,000 Rohingya Muslims are now living in temporary settlements there, about 58 percent of them children up to 17 years old.
Over half of those who have fled are children.
Meanwhile, Jordan's queen said Monday that the international community must respond effectively to end the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims.
Queen Rania, who visited a refugee camp in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district on Monday, spoke of the "shocking escalation of violence" against Rohingya and urged the international community to step in.
"One has to ask, why is the plight of this Muslim minority group being ignored?" Rania said in a statement Monday. "Why has this systematic persecution been allowed to play out for so long?"
The queen said she was shocked by the limitations of basic services to health care and other lifesaving support.
"It is unforgivable that this crisis is unfolding, largely ignored by the international community," she said. "The world response has been muted. I urge the U.N. and the international community to do more to ensure we can bring peace to this conflict."
The U.N. is desperate for funding for the massive humanitarian crisis, CBS News' Pamela Falk reports from the U.N. Although the U.N. has received substantial pledges, unfortunately sometimes those promises do not materialize.
The Security Council has not managed to act on the crisis in any significant way, Falk reports, and no Council resolution has been introduced for the return of the Rohingya or for the prosecution of the crimes committed against them, leading human rights organizations to describe the Rohingya crisis as a stain on the U.N.'s record.
"The sheer speed, size and scope of the Rohingya refugee crisis ... has resulted in a shocking humanitarian emergency that is ... unprecedented in this region and in many parts of the world," William Lacy Swing, director general of the International Organization for Migration, said Monday.
for more features.