UKBD TIMES DESK:
Campaigning MEP Amjad Bashir has welcomed news that a team of British medics and firefighters is on its way to Bangladesh to provide specialist help for Rohingya refugees.
Mr Bashir said it could mean “new life in a new year” for thousands hit by an outbreak of diphtheria there.
The team of 40 doctors, nurses and firefighters is heading for the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, where more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to escape murder and ethnic cleansing in neighbouring Myanmar.
The move follows an appeal from the the World health Organisation after an outbreak of diphtheria which it is feared could spread rapidly in the cramped conditions of the camps.
Mr Bashir, Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, has campaigned consistently for the rights of persecuted Rohingya and for international help for the refugees.
Last year he travelled himself to Cox’s Bazaar to see the plight of the Rohingya first hand.
He said: “It is only right that country such as ours should extend a helping hand to people who have nothing, exiled in a country that has little more, and now facing deadly disease.
“As diphtheria threatens to ravage the camps this intervention could mean the difference between death and a new life in the new year for many refugees.
“I wish the volunteers who are going out every blessing and every success in their mission.”
Mr Bashir is organising a charity event in Bradford next week to raise awareness of the plight of the Rohingya and to raise money for food and medical aid. Speakers will include representatives of charities currently working in the Bangladesh refugee camps. The event begins at 6.30pm
on Friday January 5
at the Carlisle Business Centre, 60 Carlisle Road, BD8 8BD