The Danish government has set aside 20 million kroner in aid to assist the high number of refugees who have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State to Bangladesh in recent weeks.
Thus far, 150,000 refugees have arrived in Bangladesh, but the UN expects another 100,000 to arrive in the near future. There have been reports of indiscriminate slaughter of the nation’s Muslim Rohingya population by soldiers and Buddhist vigilantes.
“I am strongly concerned about the development in Rakhine and the reports of military abuse,” said the development minister, Ulla Tørnæs.
“I condemn any form of violence against civilians and I urge the parties in the conflict to protect the Rohingyas and all other civilians. I appeal that full humanitarian access is granted to all those needing help.”
Strong links already
Tørnæs said that Denmark plays an important role in the dialogue with the authorities regarding the situation in Rakhine, and Danish aid will be on the way as soon as the opportunity is present to give aid to all those in need of it in Rakhine.
But until then, the Danish aid will go to help the massive number of refugees arriving in Bangladesh in close co-operation with the UN World Food Programme and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Denmark has a substantial development link with Myanmar already. Aside from a considerable humanitarian effort, the Danish development engagement in the country has particularly focused on improving elementary school programs, supporting poor fishermen and creating jobs in small and medium-sized companies.