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Min. Brophy announces Irish Aid support to Humanitarian Response to Fires in Rohingya Refugee Camp

In response to the fires in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy, T.D., today announced €100,000 in Irish Aid funding for Concern Worldwide to support efforts to address the crisis.


Minister Brophy said:


“Initial reports from the UN have confirmed 15 deaths, with hundreds more still missing. The blaze has also led to further displacement and destruction of infrastructure, compounding the suffering of Rohingya refugees, who have endured so much hardship in recent years.


"Ireland is responding at speed to this tragedy through our funding to Concern Worldwide. In 2021 we will also, as I pledged at last October’s humanitarian conference on the Rohingya crisis, provide funding of €1 million to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, for its activities in Cox’s Bazar. This assistance is a meaningful expression of Ireland’s solidarity with the Rohingya, one of the world’s most vulnerable communities.”


Press Office
24 March 2021

Notes for Editors

Humanitarian Situation (related to the fires)


  • A massive fire broke out in Balukhali Rohingya Camp on 22 March 2021.
  • Preliminary estimates indicate that fifteen people have lost their lives. An estimated 400 people are still missing. More than 560 people have been injured.
  • Up to 10,000 Rohingya refugee families (more than 45,000 persons) have been displaced following the fire. This figure could increase in the coming days as assessment efforts continue.
  • Around 10,000 shelters were either damaged or destroyed.
  • At least six health facilities have been reported as damaged or destroyed by the fire: one secondary health facility (field hospital), one specialized clinic, one primary health care (PHC) facility, and one health post (HP) were destroyed while another PHC and HP were damaged.


Overall Humanitarian Context


  • In 2017 a violent crackdown the Myanmar military on the Rohingya minority ethnic group in Myanmar led to mass exodus to neighbouring Bangladesh. Almost one million Rohingya refugees live in extremely precarious conditions in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the largest single refugee settlement in the world. Rohingya refugees and members of the Bangladeshi host community rely on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs.
  • Ireland has provided direct funding of over €4.6m to the Rohingya crisis (in both Bangladesh and Myanmar) since the Myanmar military operations in late 2017. The additional funding announced today will bring Ireland’s support since 2017 to a minimum of €5.7m by the end of 2021.

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