The international community is losing interest in the plight of Rohingya, Türkiye's foreign minister said on Thursday, urging the international community to do more for the minority Muslims forced to flee Myanmar five years ago.
"Rohingya Muslims have been deprived of their fundamental rights and basic needs. Unfortunately, the international community is losing interest in this tragedy," said Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu during a high-level side event on the Rohingya crisis organized by Bangladesh in New York, where the 77th United Nations General Assembly is ongoing.
Saying that Bangladesh "shoulders the heaviest burden" on the crisis by "hosting more than a million Rohingya," Çavuşoğlu stressed that "the world should do more to share this burden."
Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.2 million Rohingya, most of whom fled genocide in their home country Myanmar's Rakhine State in August 2017.
"On our part, we (Türkiye) support aid projects covering both urgent needs and income-generating activities. And our field hospital in the refugee camp in Cox's Bazar provides health services to around 1,500 people daily," he said, pledging to "continue to support relief efforts in cooperation with Bangladesh."
"It is our responsibility to support efforts of restoring the fundamental rights of the Rohingyas. Their voluntary and sustainable return to Myanmar in safety and dignity is our priority and we should never give up on this," the foreign minister said.
In this regard, Çavuşoğlu called on the international community to "financially contribute" to the fund set up by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
"The Rohingya crisis is one of the gravest tragedies of modern times. Besides relief efforts, we should keep the cause of Rohingya high on the international agenda. The Rohingya want to return home, they want justice. And it is our duty to stand by them in the rightful cause," he said.
Meanwhile, the United States on Thursday announced over $170 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, including those outside the country such as in Bangladesh, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
"With this new funding, our total assistance in response to the Rohingya Refugee Crisis has reached nearly $1.9 billion since August 2017, when over 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee to safety in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh," Blinken said in a statement.