Refugee aid

October 4, 2017 by No Comments | Category International

International Development Minister Alasdair Allan has announced that Christian Aid and Oxfam will share £120,000 for emergency response projects to aid refugees. Hundreds of thousands of civilians, the majority Muslim Rohingya, have been forced to flee towards Bangladesh.

The news comes as a UK charity appeal to help hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the violence has been launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

The First Minister pledged the £120,000 funding from the Scottish Government’s Humanitarian Emergency Fund on September 19. On that day, she also met with heads of Muslim organisations from Scotland to discuss the situation in Burma’s Rakhine Province.

Picture above: A group of young Rohingya girls collect drinking water for their families from a local pump in Balhukali settlement, Bangladesh.

Photo Credit: Aurélie Marrier d’Unienville

Dr Alasdair Allan said:

“The Scottish Government has expressed its deep concern about the situation in Burma’s Rakhine Province. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been forced to flee towards Bangladesh, streaming across the border away from the violence in Burma.

“Backed by £120,000 Scottish Government funding, I am announcing today that Christian Aid and Oxfam will work with local partners in Bangladesh to provide help to refugees who urgently require food, sanitation and health support.”

Picture above: Anowara*, 12, scrubs a dirty cooking pot on a hillside in Balukhali camp in Bangladesh, where thousands of Rohingya people now live. *Name has been changed.

Photo Credit: Tommy Trenchard/Panos

Christian Aid’s Madara Hettiarachchi, Head of Humanitarian Programmes, Asia and Middle East, said: “The huge numbers of refugees coming into the makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar means that the level of response also needs to be huge and co-ordinated. We are grateful to the Scottish Government for providing funds to help with this. People are disoriented, exhausted and in desperate need for the basics – shelter, food, sanitation and health support. We are working with our local partners to do all we can to meet those needs.”

Paolo Lubrano, Oxfam Bangladesh’s Humanitarian Co-ordinator, said: “It is truly terrible to see the level of need there is among people here. People are living in make shift tents under heavy rains. Tens of thousands don’t have food or clean water. If they are very lucky they have some plastic sheeting to take shelter under – but most of the time families are huddled under sarongs. These people urgently need help.

“Most camps are flooded, including Katupalong and Balukhali where Oxfam works. For people forced to flee this is absolutely devastating – they have crossed one torrential river, just to be confronted by insecurity and pouring rain. Women and children are particularly vulnerable, sleeping under open skies, roadsides, and forest areas with little or no protection.”

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