Campaigning MEP Amjad Bashir today welcomed the announcement of a major new tranch of British aid for desperate Rohingya Muslims fleeing genocide in Myanmar.
Mr Bashir, Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, is a long-term critic of Myanmar’s brutal persecution of its Rohingya minority and said the additional £12million in aid was much needed to stop people dying of starvation and disease.
He spoke out after International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced the further UK aid during a visit to the Cox’s Bazaar refugee camps across the border from Myanmar in Bangladesh.
Mr Bashir said: “These are hundreds of thousands of people who have fled for their lives, often after seeing their loved ones butchered.
“They are the victims of a vicious persecution. They have nothing left but their lives, but and without food, sanitation and medical care they will lose even that.
“I have been to Cox’s Bazaar, seen their plight and heard their horrific accounts of the violence that caused them to flee.
“You cannot witness that without wanting to help them, and with international aid threatening to run out this intervention from our Government was much needed. Now I hope other countries will follow suite in renewing aid.”
Through his campaigning Mr Bashir has secured an extraordinary debate in the European Parliament on the Rohingya crisis, to be held in Strasbourg on December 12.
He hopes it will lead to the EU convening an international summit of leaders from interested states which could lay the ground for protection for the Rohingya in Myanmar and a guaranteed safe return for the refugees.