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Opinion

Canada’s response to Rohingya crisis throws money at the problem

By Themrise Khan      

While it is undeniable that the Rohingya crisis is in desperate need of financial assistance, with hundreds of thousands languishing in squalid camps in Bangladesh, attention to the crisis should have come many, many years ago, says Themrise Khan, an Ottawa-based professional who specializes in global development and migration issues.

The UN Security Council sent a delegation in April to visit Bangladesh and to meet a group of refugees. Members heard their stories at Kutupalong Refugee camp in Cox's Bazar. According to the UN, the camp is home to 600,000 refugees and is the world's largest refugee settlement. Photograph courtesy of the UN

On May 23, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Canada’s contribution of $300-million over three years to help address the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar, following Bob Rae’s urgent appeal. Two days later, International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced the launch of the $300-million equality fund, a pledge to leverage private-sector and philanthropic contributions to reduce poverty and support women’s rights movements and organizations in developing countries.  

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