Rohingya crisis: Canada announces new funding for emergency preparedness and assistance for Rohingya refugees and host communities

News release

March 16, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Canada remains deeply concerned about the violence in Rakhine state, Myanmar, and the displacement of more than 671,000 Rohingya refugees—the majority of them women and children—to neighbouring Bangladesh since August 25, 2017. Canada continues to support life-saving and gender-responsive humanitarian assistance to these refugees who face a desperate situation, which could worsen as monsoon season arrives in Bangladesh.

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced up to $8.15 million in funding to humanitarian partners to help improve the lives of Rohingya refugees and address some of the challenges they may face in Bangladesh over the coming months.

In advance of the upcoming season of heavy rain and cyclones, Canada’s contribution will provide urgent support for site maintenance and emergency preparedness activities. Canada’s contribution will also address key needs in Bangladesh and Myanmar, such as nutrition and food assistance, and health, including sexual and reproductive health, and protection services for both refugees and the communities hosting them and people internally displaced in Myanmar.

In October 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Bob Rae as Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar to engage in diplomatic efforts to help address the Rohingya crisis and make recommendations to Canada. This new funding reflects Mr. Rae’s interim report and discussions he had with the United Nations, humanitarian organizations and the Government of Canada.

Canada calls once more for Myanmar to allow unimpeded humanitarian access to northern Rakhine and resumption of life-saving services without discrimination throughout the state while upholding and respecting human rights for all. 


“The crisis in Myanmar has triggered the world’s fastest-growing refugee and humanitarian crisis. Canada’s support has helped partners respond to the humanitarian needs of Rohingya refugees, but more help is needed ahead of the monsoon season. These new funds, going to experienced relief organizations, will help refugees and host communities cope with the ongoing crisis, while helping them to be prepared for and better mitigate the impact of anticipated extreme weather conditions.”

- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Quick facts

  • Since August 25, 2017, more than 671,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar.

  • The funding announced today is in addition to more than $37.5 million in humanitarian assistance already committed for Bangladesh and Myanmar since the beginning of 2017. Today’s announcement brings Canada’s total contribution to $45.9 million.

  • In November 2017, Minister Bibeau visited refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where she met with survivors of gender-based violence, unaccompanied children and new mothers, as well as representatives of key humanitarian organizations.

  • Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar has visited the region on two occasions meeting with Rohingya refugees, government representatives and humanitarian organizations.

  • Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar will issue his final report with recommendations in the coming weeks.

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Justine Lesage
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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