Statement on fire at Cox's Bazar

  • Statement
25 March 2021

I am deeply saddened by the news of the devastating fire in the Kutupalong Balukali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. I offer my sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones. The impact on over 120,000 people and the extensive damage to food distribution centres, health clinics, learning centres and essential facilities is of great concern to Australia and the international community.

I commend the response of the Government of Bangladesh and Rohingya volunteers who assisted with bringing the fire under control and the initial rescue operation, and the humanitarian agencies delivering food assistance, emergency shelter, and water and sanitation services for those affected.

Australia is committed to sustaining our humanitarian assistance for the Rohingya and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. In light of this devastating event, I announce today an additional $10 million in emergency assistance from the existing humanitarian budget to those affected by the fire. Our additional support will be provided through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, the World Food Programme and the United Nations Population Fund.

This funding is in addition to the over $260 million Australia has provided to the humanitarian response for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh since 2017.

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