Canada gives $2.5 million to help Bangladesh cope with Myanmar’s Muslim exodus
Canada is giving extra money to help Bangladesh cope with the influx of Rohingya Muslims fleeing neighbouring Myanmar.
The additional $2.55 million is aimed at helping provide care for women, new mothers and children younger than five, International Development Minister Marie-claude Bibeau said in a statement.
So far this year, Canada has committed to $6.63 million in humanitarian assistance funding to aid partners in Myanmar and Bangladesh to help conflict-affected people, including the Rohingya.
The announcement follows a $4.3-million contribution by the European Commission earlier this week to help deal with the crisis. Bibeau said the funds will also help victims of genderbased violence, and will be provided to three different United Nations agencies.
The UN estimates 240,000 children are among the 400,000 Rohingya who have fled Myanmar since late August, recounting attacks by government troops and Buddhist mobs. Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, also an honorary Canadian citizen, says her government is fighting a militant insurgency. But she has been widely criticized for not speaking up in defence of her country’s persecuted Muslim minority.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said this week the violence against the Rohingya is “ethnic cleansing.”
Trudeau spoke by phone with San Suu Kyi on Wednesday to express “deep concerns” over the treatment of Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Myanmar, also known as Burma.
The government has made no comment about whether her honorary citizenship would be revoked, but Bibeau reiterated Canada’s concerns with the violence that has led to the mass displacement.
“We also urge the authorities in Myanmar to take measures to protect all civilians from the ongoing violence, and we call for the full, unimpeded resumption of humanitarian assistance activities for UN and international humanitarian organizations in Myanmar,” she said.
Rohingya Muslim children, who recently crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, reach out to catch clothes thrown toward them by locals near Balukhali refugee camp in Bangladesh.