Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 June 2019

Rohingya refugees: UAE raises Dh33m on first day of charity drive

Sheikha Fatima alone donated Dh10m on first day of a nationwide campaign

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The UAE has been helping the Rohingya for years. Cathal McNaughton / Reuters
Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The UAE has been helping the Rohingya for years. Cathal McNaughton / Reuters

The UAE has raised at least Dh33 million on the first day of a campaign to help hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees forced to flee Myanmar.

UAE for Rohingya Women and Children was launched on Thursday and aims to assist those living in camps in India and Bangladesh.

Rohingya are a Muslim-minority group who have fled Myanmar in the face of brutal crackdown by the military.

Myanmar claims its security forces are targeting militants but many villages have been destroyed and thousands are believed to have been killed.

The UAE is now lending a hand to these refugees – many of whom live in appalling conditions – by sending humanitarian assistance. And the response to the nationwide drive has been swift.

Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, has already donated Dh10 million, while Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, the Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra and chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, has donated Dh5m.

"The UAE has provided considerable assistance with the onset of the crisis, especially in Bangladesh, India and some other countries,” said Fahad Abdulrahman bin Sultan, Emirates Red Crescent deputy secretary-general for development and international co-operation.

"As a result of the reports we received from the UAE relief teams, the focus [of the campaign] will be on women and children, especially educating the children who have been in the camps for several years without access to education."

It is not the first time that the UAE has stepped in to help the Rohingya.

In January, a team of Emirati medics held specialist clinics at a camp for Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh.

More than a million Rohingya are believed to be in camps. Myanmar, which is mainly Buddhist, claims they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and refuses to give them residency or citizenship.

Updated: May 25, 2019 03:33 PM

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