Selasa , 12 September 2017, 14:17 WIB

Indonesia to soon distribute aid for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Red: Reiny Dwinanda
Republika/Prayogi
Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi
Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Indonesia will soon distribute humanitarian aid for the Rohingyas who have fled to Bangladesh, following the escalation of conflict in Rakhine State amid ongoing armed skirmishes in the Myanmar's region.

"Hopefully, the aid can be distributed in these weeks," Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi said, during a hearing with House of Representatives Commission I in Jakarta, on Monday.

The Indonesian government has received a list of the refugees' needs that include essentials, such as tents, mattresses, blankets, food, and drinking water, from Rina P. Soemarno, the RI ambassador in Dhaka.

The government will first send an advance team that will organize the distribution of humanitarian aid to Cox's Bazar, where the refugee camps are located.

The team will try to immediately distribute the aids amidst technical challenges, including long distances to access the location of the refugees.

"We have received information that the Hercules plane cannot land in Cox's Bazar. The nearest area where the plane carrying aid can land is Chittagong, which is about 6 to 8 hour drive from Cox's Bazar," Marsudi explained.

Also read: Islamic world lauds UN plan to aid 300,000 Rohingya Muslims

According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, the number of refugees from Rakhine State has reached 500 thousand by last week.

The growing number of refugees trying to escape the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar has been a burden not only for Bangladesh but also for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) continuously working in the country.

Indonesia has attempted to address the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State comprehensively, from its upstream in Myanmar to its downstream in Bangladesh, as a destination country for refugees.

In addition to its humanitarian approach, Indonesia believes that sharing sound bilateral relations between the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh is needed to address border and refugee problems.

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