The UN has said that nations have pledged €294m to care for Myanmar's Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, which they call an "encouraging" step in the response to the intensifying crisis.

Many of the funds for the refugees, who have fled from violence in the northern part of Myanmar's Rakhine state, were promised at a high-level conference in Geneva co-hosted by the United Nations, the European Union and Kuwait.

The UN says it needs €369m to provide support through February for the huge number of Rohingya who have fled across the border, as well as the 300,000 local Bangladeshis hosting the influx.

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock called the haul "encouraging" and praised donors who "expressed their solidarity and compassion with the families and communities in need."

Some of the money was promised in the run-up to the conference and Mr Lowcock said he expected more commitments in the coming days.

A group of nations had also offered €42m of in-kind donations.

Mr Lowcock stressed the importance of countries actually delivering the cash, with the UN having confronted unfulfilled pledges in past crises.

"Pledges are one thing," he said.

"It's really important to us that the pledges are translated as soon as possible into contributions," he added.

Among the 35 nations and blocs that promised funds were Britain (€53m) the EU (€35m), the US (€32m) and Sweden (€20m), according to the UN.

With no apparent resolution to the crisis in sight, Mr Lowcock noted that there may be a need to raise more funds again next year.

The head of the International Organisation for Migration, William Lacey Swing, called the wave of Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh "the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world."

"It is, in its own way, a nightmare," he added.

Bangladesh's government and the community in the Cox's Bazar area on the Myanmar border have been broadly praised for the response to Rohingya refugee influx, notably for keeping the border open.

More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees have headed for Bangladesh in huge numbers since late August after militant attacks on Myanmar security forces in Rakhine state sparked a major army crackdown on the community likened to ethnic cleansing by the UN.