Over 344 mln USD pledged by donors for Rohingya refugee crisis: UN

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GENEVA, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- The international donor community on Monday pledged more than 344 million U.S. dollars to urgently ramp up the delivery of critical humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh.

Funding was also pledged for the humanitarian response inside Myanmar, said the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in a statement after international donors met in Geneva.

Violence, insecurity and growing humanitarian needs have sent nearly 600,000 Rohingya from the northern Rakhine state in Myanmar into Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh since Aug. 25 in the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, according to UNHCR.

"Humanitarian donors have today expressed their solidarity and compassion with the families and communities in need," said Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

"These very generous pledges must now quickly translate into life-saving relief for the vulnerable refugees and support to host communities who have been stretched to the limit," he said.

A total of 35 pledges were made at the conference in Geneva co-organized by the UN migration agency IOM, the UN refugee agency UNHCR, and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, with Kuwait and the European Union as co-hosts.

"More than 800,000 stateless Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh aspire to a life that meets their immediate needs for food, medicine, water, and shelter," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

The UN and its partners have launched a response plan for six months from September 2017 to February 2018 to meet the needs of a combined 1.2 million newly arrived and existing refugees and their Bangladeshi hosts.

UNHCR said the appeal seeks 434 million U.S. dollars, and pledges made Monday will increase the funding level of this plan. A preliminary list of pledges announced today is available here. Enditem

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