Minister Bibeau to travel to Bangladesh
November 17, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, will travel to Bangladesh from November 21 to 23, 2017, to witness first-hand the devastating impact of the Rohingya refugee crisis and assess the best ways for Canada to assist the hundreds of thousands of people who have fled from Myanmar. Minister Bibeau will also meet with the Government of Bangladesh to discuss its efforts to address the Rohingya crisis.
Since August 25, 2017, more than 620,000 Rohingya, mainly women and children, have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar. This is in addition to an estimated 300,000 Rohingya who had previously sought refuge in Bangladesh. The country has opened its borders and is providing life-saving assistance in camps and informal settlements in the Cox’s Bazar area located in the south of the country along the border with Myanmar.
During her visit, Minister Bibeau will visit refugee settlements and host communities to engage with beneficiaries, including Rohingya women, children and local Bangladeshi, to gain a deeper understanding of the needs on the ground. She will also meet with humanitarian partners and representatives of local civil society to discuss the response and coordination of efforts to assist the most vulnerable.
Canada has had a long-standing development program in Bangladesh, which includes support to health and education. On the last day of her visit, Minister Bibeau will meet with senior Bangladeshi government officials, local women’s organizations and other partners to discuss development needs in Bangladesh, particularly as they relate to the empowerment of women and girls.
“The unprecedented scale of the current Rohingya refugee crisis and its dire impact on women and children requires us all to take urgent action. That is why Canada launched the Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund, which matches dollar for dollar every eligible donation that Canadians make to an organization providing life-saving assistance to the Rohingya people. Canadians can be proud of our country’s experienced humanitarian partners that are providing vital assistance to meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable, especially women and girls.”
- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
The Rohingya refugee situation has become the world’s fastest-growing refugee and humanitarian crisis. Thus far in 2017, Canada has committed over $25 million in humanitarian assistance funding in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
On October 31, Canada launched the Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund. For every eligible donation made by individuals to registered Canadian charities between August 25 and November 28, 2017, the Government of Canada will contribute an equivalent amount to the Myanmar Crisis Relief Fund.
On October 23, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named the Honourable Bob Rae as his special envoy to Myanmar. As special envoy, Mr. Rae will reinforce the urgent need to resolve the humanitarian and security crisis in Myanmar and to address the situation affecting these vulnerable people.
Mr. Rae visited the refugee settlements in Bangladesh on November 4, 2017, and subsequently debriefed Minister Bibeau as she prepared for her own visit.
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