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UK gives £25 million more to aid Rohingya refugees

The UK will provide £25 million to aid Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Myanmar, which will be in addition to the £11 million it promised earlier.

world Updated: Sep 15, 2017 18:40 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Rohingya crisis,Rohingya refugees,Bangladesh
Smoke is seen on Myanmar's side of border as Rohingya refugees get off from a boat after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border through the Bay of Bengal in Shah Porir Dwip on September 15, 2017. (Reuters)

Keeping up the pressure on the Myanmar government to act on Rohingya refugees, Britain on Friday released an additional £25 million to deal with what it called the “unprecedented scale of the crisis in Bangladesh and Burma”.

International development secretary Priti Patel said a majority of the latest funding will be spent in Bangladesh, where more than 350,000 Rohingyas have taken refuge following what international observers have called “ethnic cleansing” in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Patel said the funding will help scale up critical life-saving assistance - such as food, shelter, water and sanitation – to a greater number of those who have fled their homes. In Myanmar, Britain stands ready to provide life-saving assistance to those affected in Rakhine state, she added.

Britain continues to use the name Burma, instead of Myanmar, to refer to the country. The name was changed to Myanmar by the then ruling military junta in 1989.The UK had earlier promised to provide £11 million to aid the Rohingyas.

Patel said: “For the second time in a little under a year, the eyes of the world are once again fixed on Burma. I am appalled by the allegations of gross human rights violations against large numbers of Rohingya, including reports of the Burmese military and local militia forcing hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from their homes and villages being burnt.

“Latest estimates are that a staggering 370,000 Rohingyas have fled Burma in just over two weeks to seek refuge in Bangladesh, carrying nothing more than a handful of possessions…Simply put, the Burmese military must put a stop to the attacks on the Rohingya.”

Referring to reports that aid workers were facing problems of access, Patel said “unacceptable intimidation and restrictions on the movement of humanitarian workers” must be ended.

First Published: Sep 15, 2017 18:40 IST