KUWAIT: Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah attends the virtual conference. - KUNA

KUWAIT: Kuwait has completed the handover of $5 million for Rohingya refugee relief efforts, Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah said amid global donor talks held on Thursday. The minister was speaking to nations at a remotely-held conference, aimed at providing urgently-needed assistance for the displaced Rohingya community in and outside of their native Myanmar.

At the event, co-hosted by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Britain, the United States and the European Union, the minister underlined Kuwait's commitment to global efforts to address the plight of this stricken community. In addressing their needs, Kuwait hosted a donor conference in July 2017, co-chaired by the EU and the UN, and, during its non-permanent membership in the 2018-19 Security Council in cooperation with the UK and Peru, arranged an official visit for Security Council member nations to Myanmar and Bangladesh.

In April and May 2018, it also supported the Presidential Statement issued by the Security Council for the year 2017 in this regard, he said. He highlighted the importance of an immediate end to violence and the use of threatening and intimidation methods with this minority. He also called on the need to push towards ensuring the delivery of humanitarian aid to affected areas and to work on the voluntary return of refugees through peaceful methods.

The minister went on to urge the need to address the root causes that allowed their displacement, namely ensuring the rights of the Rohingya community in line with the UN recommendations and the Advisory Committee of Rakhine State. He also commended the efforts carried out by Bangladesh to host these refugees, pointing out to the financial, political and social implications of these endeavors. "The international community faces a great challenge in confronting this cruel human tragedy, which requires a serious and immediate halt to continuing human rights violations, and to work to resolve the root causes of this growing crisis," he concluded.

Britain had announced during the conference new funding valued at 47.5 million pounds ($62.2 million) for Rohingya refugees in camps in Bangladesh. Addressing the virtual aid conference, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the fresh aid is meant to alleviate the sufferings of 860,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

He added that the funding will be used to provide food, water, education and sanitation to refugee camps in Bangladesh, noting that it will also help Bangladesh deal with the coronavirus pandemic and its frequent natural disasters. The British foreign secretary also urged other donors not to forget the plight of Rohingya refugees. " I urge the world not to turn away from the Rohingya's suffering and to take the action necessary to allow them to safely return to the homes they fled in terror," he said. - KUNA