World Food Program seeks $75m in aid for Rohingya
Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail|02 October 2017| 11 Muharram 1439
The World Food Program (WFP) appealed on Sunday for 75 million dollars in emergency aid over the next six months to help alleviate the suffering of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar.
Since August 25th, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in majority Buddhist Myanmar, overwhelming aid agencies in neighbouring Bangladesh.
“The bottom line? This is a deplorable situation. This is as bad as it gets. We need 75 million for the next six months,” David Beasley, WFP executive director, told reporters after visiting refugee camps in Bangladesh near the Myanmar border.
“I say we can end world hunger with a few billion dollars. I tell donors, if you can’t give us the money, stop the wars,” added Beasley, whose UN agency is the main humanitarian organisation battling hunger worldwide.
The United Nations, which has described the crisis as ethnic cleansing, is currently seeking 200 million dollars from donors to help tackle the crisis among the Rohingya Muslims.
More than half a million ethnic Rohingya – a mostly Muslim minority who are denied citizenship by Myanmar – have fled to Bangladesh since then.
Those who fled accuse Myanmar’s army, backed by Buddhist mobs, of a brutal killing campaign.
Thailand offers support
Thailand’s foreign ministry, in a rare statement on an ongoing crisis in neighbouring Myanmar’s Rakhine state, said late on Saturday that it was “closely following the situation” and would provide aid to the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh.
“Thailand is closely following the situation in the Rakhine State with concern,” the ministry said.
“The Royal Thai Government has always placed great importance to providing care and protection to Myanmar displaced persons,” it added, pointing to some 100,000 refugees from Myanmar who live in nine camps along the Thai-Myanmar border.
But many of those living in the camps are long-term residents who fled conflict decades ago. None are Rohingya, according to non-governmental organisations who work there.
The Thai foreign ministry said its statement was in response to views raised by some human rights groups regarding Thailand’s position on the unrest in Rakhine.
Amnesty International last week said Thailand must not “push back” Rohingya fleeing violence and that it should provide refugees formal legal status and protection.
Thailand does not recognise the status of any refugees or recognise the Rohingya as legitimate migrant workers.
Thailand said it supported a statement on the issue by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a grouping of 10 nations.
In the statement, ASEAN foreign ministers condemned the attacks on Myanmar’s security forces by Rohingya militants and “all acts of violence which resulted in loss of civilian lives”.
Malaysia, an ASEAN member, disassociated itself from the statement, saying it misrepresented issues relating to the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya.
So far, “none of the affected victims from the August unrest in Rakhine State have been found in Thailand,” the Thai foreign ministry said.
Source – Trt World