Disasters Emergency Committee launches Myanmar appeal

More than 500,000 Rohingya, consisting mostly of women and children, have fled the country to neighbouring Bangladesh

The Disasters Emergency Committee has launched a new emergency appeal to help thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar.

More than 500,000 Rohingya, the majority of which are women and children, have left Rakhine state in Myanmar following alleged state persecution to seek sanctuary in neighbouring Bangladesh.

The DEC campaign is raising money to provide shelter, medical care, water and food for those leaving Myanmar, and for the Rohingya already living in makeshift shelters in Bangladesh.

The DEC, which is a collaboration of 13 major humanitarian aid charities including ActionAid, the British Red Cross, Oxfam and Tearfund, is launching the appeal today and will broadcast television advertisements on all of the UK’s major broadcasters.

The UK government will match the first £3m donated to the DEC appeal by the public, and a dedicated phone line has been set up.

Saleh Saeed, chief executive of the DEC, said: "People are arriving exhausted and traumatised into already overcrowded camps in Bangladesh. This is one of the fastest movements of people we have seen in recent decades. 

"Families are living in makeshift shelters or by the side of the road with no clean drinking water, toilets or washing facilities. This humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in a country that is already reeling from the worst floods in decades.

"Without urgent support, the risk of disease and further misery is alarmingly high."

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