‘Deep con­cerns’

Canada gives $2.5 mil­lion to help Bangladesh cope with Myan­mar’s Mus­lim ex­o­dus

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - CANADA -

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.

AP PHOTO

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.

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