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The Financial Express

UK government doubles donations for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

| Updated: October 22, 2017 12:44:00


UK doubles aid for Rohingyas

The UK pledges extra help for the victims of the Burmese military’s atrocities by “doubling” donations made by the British public to the cause.

In the last month alone, more than half a million men, women and children from Myanmar have fled their homeland and made the perilous journey to neighbouring Bangladesh to seek refuge.

The UK government has already given £30 million to provide lifesaving food, water, shelter and healthcare to victims of the violence.

On Wednesday, the UK government said Britain continues to take a leading role in responding to the crisis as the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has launched its emergency appeal for people fleeing Burma.

“The UK will double all donations up to £3 million, meaning even more aid is available for those in need,” it said in a statement.

The DEC brings 13 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis: ActionAid, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam, Plan International UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision -  all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly.

The UK has been a leader in responding to the crisis to help meet the urgent humanitarian needs of vulnerable men, women and children in both Bangladesh and Myanmar, the statement said.

It has raised the situation in three UN Security Council meetings and led work in the Council to develop an international response.

The Foreign Secretary also held a Ministerial meeting of General Assembly members at the UN General Assembly on Sept 18 to drive this process forward.

Mark Field, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has visited Burma, including its Rakhine State.

He held talks in Burma with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to press for an urgent resolution to the crisis in Rakhine.

Britain also said that it is ready to support the recommendations of the Kofi Annan led Rakhine Advisory Commission to assist the long-term development of all people in Rakhine state.

But right now the next immediate step is for the security forces to end the violence and the government of Burma to allow humanitarian access, it had also said, according to bdnews24.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel on Wednesday said: “I am appalled that more than half a million Rohingya have been forced to flee their homes because of the horrific violence in Burma.”

“Those who escaped, carrying little or nothing, have had to make the treacherous journey across the border into Bangladesh to seek safety, with countless people dying or losing loved ones.

“The relentless denial of aid is a matter of life and death for those still in northern Rakhine. It is utterly intolerable that the military who are responsible for this inhumane catastrophe have not heeded calls for restraint, and pleas to allow those who are now refugees to return safely to their homes.

“In this time of crisis, the UK will do everything it possibly can to help and is leading the way internationally to save the victims of this tragedy, who are in desperate need of food, water, shelter and healthcare.”

NEW RELIEF ARRIVES

The UK aid began to distribute more lifesaving aid in Cox’s Bazar from Tuesday.

Through its partner, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) 10,000 shelter kits, 10,500 mats and 20,000 blankets will be distributed throughout the week.

Emergency shelter for up to 26,355 people has already been provided since the first refugees made their way to Bangladesh.

“Food for 65,000 of the most vulnerable victims and healthcare for 50,000 people has already been provided though other partners and we are also supporting 7,500 children, many of whom have suffered traumatic ordeals and are at risk of sexual violence and trafficking,” the UK government said in a statement.

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