Over 270,000 people have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in recent days, Muslim Aid said today, as it called for a halt to the violence and urged the international community to do everything possible to ensure humanitarian access to the refugees.
The charity said Muslims in Myanmar were fleeing violence and urgently needed food, water, shelter and medical assistance. Muslim Aid has started distributions in Myanmar’s Sittwe state, delivering food and sanitation kits to refugees, and has sent teams to assess needs of refugees in Bangladesh.
The charity said more needed to be done to give aid agencies access to refugees so they can provide much needed humanitarian assistance.
Muslim Aid has launched the “Myanmar Emergency Appeal” to help raise funds for the crisis.
Jehangir Malik, Chief Executive of Muslim Aid says:
“Our mission as a humanitarian agency is to save lives, we are deeply concerned that the recent outbreak of violence in Myanmar has already cost 400 lives and that aid agencies have limited access to respond to this human catastrophe. Refugees fleeing the conflict desperately need access to food, water, sanitation, shelter and medical aid.
“Hundreds of refugees have no access to the essentials they need to survive. We urge governments and the international community to call on the UN Security Council to put pressure on the authorities to allow aid agencies immediate access. Those fleeing the violence must be able receive the urgent humanitarian assistance they need.
“We must unite to call on the international community to act now to end violence and avoid another human tragedy in history. We call on world leaders to ensure humanitarian assistance reaches those in need and security for all civilians affected by this violence.”
In Myanmar Muslim Aid has been delivering essential services since 2013, focusing on primary education and healthcare, but also including water, sanitation and livelihoods as part of its programme. It is also hoping to restart its programmes across the border in Bangladesh, where over 500,000 refugees from Myanmar are now living.