Deep Concern for Refugees Fleeing Violence in Myanmar Prompts Joint Humanitarian Appeal

11 Nov, 2017

Members of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) have joined with the Australian Government and the ABC to create an appeal for refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar. 

Commenting CEO of ACFID, Marc Purcell, said: 

“The exodus of people from northern Myanmar has been at a higher rate than in the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda. The provision of food, water, shelter and protection has been rapidly scaled-up, but humanitarian assistance is falling short of growing needs.

“This collective effort by our members and the Australian Government reflects the severity of the situation. As a compassionate nation and a prosperous neighbour, we can offer a helping hand. Adding to their assistance and expertise, our members are asking for the Australian people's support.

“We are deeply concerned for the welfare of the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children who are seeking safety in the Cox’s Bazaar region. To curtail this crisis, we have to look at tackling the root causes. We echo the calls made by the UN Security Council to the Myanmar Government to end the excessive military force; for unhindered humanitarian access to Rakhine state; the protection of human rights; and equal access to full citizenship for all individuals in Myanmar.”

ACFID's members are responding by providing: medical care, emergency food, clean water, hygiene and sanitation kits, and supporting women and girls in responding to increased threats of gender based violence. Commenting, Marc Purcell said: 

“Members of the public can be assured that in donating to an ACFID member their support is meeting identified needs. ACFID’s Code of Conduct sets standards for our members to make appeals for donations for large emergencies and crises. They include a responsibility to provide clear information to donors on the humanitarian crisis and the work they are doing with affected communities.”

For a full list of agencies committed to ACFID’s Code of Conduct and responding to this crisis visit ACFID’s website.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop: Media Release – Rohingya Crisis Appeal.

The ABC has launched an appeal which can be found here: ABC Appeal – Myanmar - Bangladesh Crisis Appeal. The Federal Government will match public donations of up to $5 million to Australian Red Cross and Australia for UNHCR.

The Economist – The Rohingya refugee crisis is the worst in decades: The weekly outflow from Myanmar is the highest since the Rwandan genocide. 

Security Council Presidential Statement Calls on Myanmar to End Excessive Military Force, Intercommunal Violence in Rakhine State

Media Contact

For further information, contact Tim Watkin at media@acfid.asn.au or on 0401 721 064.