UN praises Turkey's effort for Rohingya refugees

Tue 24 October 2017 05:20 GMT | 09:20 Local Time

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The UN high commissioner for refugees on Monday hailed Turkey as "a generous humanitarian donor" after it pledged to spend $50 million on supporting Rohingya refugees.

"l would like to say that Turkey continues to be a generous humanitarian donor globally besides the largest refugee-hosting country in the world," Filippo Grandi told Anadolu Agency in Geneva on Monday after an international donor-pledging conference for Rohingya Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar ended with Turkey saying it would provide $50 million for the refugees.

"We have to continue to improve the response to the very massive crisis, the biggest and the fastest we have seen in many years," Grandi said.

"More than 800,000 stateless Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh aspire to a life that meets their immediate needs for food, medicine, water, and shelter. But beyond that, a life that has hope for the future where their identity is recognized, they are free from discrimination, and are able to return safely to their homes in Myanmar. As we come together in solidarity, I want to thank Bangladesh and its refugee-hosting communities and the donors for supporting them," Grandi said.

The conference on Rohingya Muslims began on Monday.

Turkey had "one of the highest, if not the highest," pledge at the donor conference, William Lacy Swing, head of the UN’s International Organization for Migration, told Anadolu Agency following the conference.

Turkey's ambassador to the UN office in Geneva, Naci Koru, told the conference: "Within the humanitarian assistance program, we plan to build medium-term shelter units for 100,000 people on a land of 3 million square meters, provide two field hospitals, 10 health and family health centers, deliver drinking water wells and water sanitation [plus] fresh food aid to the municipalities."

"Together with planned projects and deliveries, the total amount of humanitarian aid provided by Turkey will exceed $50 million," Koru added.

Saying that the Rohingya crisis needs immediate and coordinated action, Koru said: "We are committed to continue our support to Rohingya Muslims in close coordination with the authorities in Bangladesh."

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