Rohingya refugees perform prayers as they attend a ceremony organised to remember the first anniversary of a military crackdown that prompted a massive exodus of people from Myanmar to Bangladesh, at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhia. Image Credit: AFP

The United States pledged $185 million (Dh679.4 million) Monday to help Rohingya refugees who fled an army crackdown in Myanmar last year and are sheltering in camps in Bangladesh.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley announced the new funding for food, water, health care and other critical aid during a ministerial meeting on the crisis in Myanmar, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.

The UN, along with the US and its Western allies, have accused Myanmar’s military of waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Muslim Rohingya, who are denied citizenship rights in Myanmar.

More than 700,000 Rohingya took refuge in Bangladesh, fearful of returning to mainly Buddhist majority Myanmar despite a repatriation deal between the two countries.

Myanmar’s army chief Min Aung Hlaing was quoted in a newspaper as telling his troops that no country, organization or group has the “right to interfere in and make decision over sovereignty of a country.”

Britain hosted the meeting of about a dozen foreign ministers that was also attended by Myanmar’s state counsellor Kyaw Tint Swe and International Cooperation Minister Kyaw Tin.

Fresh from a visit to Myanmar, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned that military leaders must answer for any atrocities committed against the Rohingya, a foreign office spokesperson said.

“If, in a year’s time, we have not made a meaningful difference to the lives of the million or more people affected, then we have failed as an international community,” Hunt told the closed meeting, according to the spokesperson.