International response to the Rohingya refugee crisis has been “too slow” – ODI statement

6 October 2017

More than 500,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar into Bangladesh over the last six weeks and the United Nations has today said it is braced for a "further exodus".

Christina Bennett, head of the Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI, said: “Six weeks into the latest Rohingya crisis, international efforts to mobilise an effective and coordinated response has been too slow. Governments in the region and elsewhere continue to turn a blind eye to over 500,000 Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar.

“This is not a new problem. Our research shows that state policies towards the Rohingya people have crippled aid agencies’ ability to help and protect them for years.

“The international community and governments in the region need to find the courage to act – now and in the long-term.  As a priority, Myanmar must end the violence against the Rohingya people, and allow immediate, unfettered and sustained access to humanitarian agencies in Rakhine State. In the long-term, it must end the neglect and statelessness of the Rohingya people and ensure there is no impunity for perpetrators of violence.”

ENDS

For more information or to arrange an interview with an ODI expert please contact James Rush on j.rush@odi.org.uk or +44 (0)7808 791265